This I Believe

Maren - Logan, Utah
Entered on December 6, 2007
Age Group: 18 - 30

I believe in experience. Every situation the world has to put me though isn’t for naught, there is no coincidence. There is always something to learn from the occurrences in my life, whether they seem good or bad at the time. Why should I experience something and not learn from it? It would be like retaking my costly college classes because I didn’t pay attention the first time. Only a fool would not realize the significance of such time and money wasted. What is the point of my suffering if there is no lesson to be learned?

This belief was firmly rooted in me by the time I was sixteen years old. It all took place when I was learning to drive. I got my learner’s permit and was so eager to drive that I had everything done within two weeks. My parents, however, were out of the country. They weren’t around to sign the papers to make it official. I had to wait five weeks after I was the legal age to be a truly legal licensed driver.

Because I took so long to get my license, my dad let my friend, Beth, drive his car when she and I doubled on my first date only two weeks after I turned sixteen. She was supposed to wear glasses whenever she drove. That day, she didn’t have her glasses. As we were on our way to pick up my date, Beth pulled a left turn across two lanes of traffic on the highway. We made it to the median safely, but instead of slowing down and double checking to see if the coast was clear, she gunned it and rammed into the rear bumper of a big red truck. The other vehicle was hardly damaged. My daddy’s car, however, was now missing a headlight. Beth broke down into tears. I tried to calm her down as I called my dad and the other driver called the police to report the accident.

After the scene was cleared, I learned more than one lesson. I learned that laws are made for good reason. If Beth had been wearing her driving glasses, she could have had a better judgment of the situation. It took me years to convince my dad that he should let people other than him, including me, drive his car ever again. Thusly, I learned that a person’s trust can be easily insulted and it is difficult to regain trust when it is lost. As an inexperienced driver, I learned the value of safety behind the wheel. Now I always remember to check oncoming traffic.

Taking this experience and learning from it instead of ignoring it and brushing it off has given me the experience to be a safe driver and I have learned a priceless lesson. I believe that nothing is coincidence. Any event I face can be a lesson learned that could ultimately change a life, even save a life. What purpose does a challenge serve if not to influence growth and understanding? This is why I believe in the power of experience.