This I Believe

Lillian - Houston, Texas
Entered on December 11, 2007
Age Group: 18 - 30
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I believe in the power of the Little Engine That Could. The simple thought “I think I can” has the ability to make your mind and body actually succeed in any action. As the blue engine is desperately trying to reach the top of the mountain, it repeats to itself over and over again “I think I can climb up the mountain. I think I can. I think I can.” It slowly moves its wheels faster, inching its way up the mountain until it successfully reaches the top. I went to a camp called Cheley Colorado Camps in Estes Park, Colorado for seven wonderful years. This amazing camp is a very important and influential part of my life. One night, my counselor gathered us around to read us a book for our campfire. However when she pulled out the Little Engine That Could, we all looked around at each other mouthing “Is she seriously going to read us a children’s book??” We were sixteen at the time. But as she read, we learned that this “children’s book” was in fact teaching us an extremely valuable lesson: think you can and you will. After she finished reading the book she said, “Now girls, although most of you may think I’m crazy for reading this to you, it holds an important message. Especially this summer, I want you to challenge yourselves and if you think you can’t go on anymore, think of the Little Blue Engine.” About two weeks later when I was on a hike, the sun was just rising and we were already five miles into our day with a very intimidating peak glaring down at us below. As the day drained on all of us began to lose the motivation to go on. During a water break one of my more enthusiastic and optimistic friends said, “Y’all just think of the Little Blue Engine!!!” We all burst out laughing instantly. A couple hours later, we conquered that mountain. While standing on top, admiring the breath-taking view before us, my friend turned to me and whispered, “You know what? After that water break every step I took the rest of the way I kept thinking to myself, ‘I think I can. I think I can.’ And honestly I think it is what got me up here.” My response to her was simple, “Me too.” Although it was originally written for children, this little book holds a big idea. We as humans have this amazing talent to alter our state of mind. We can train ourselves to think a certain way or to change our mood from sad to happy. However, the problem is people don’t use this gift. Most people will simply say “I can’t do it” and give up. I used to be like this until that campfire. I believe in the mentality of “I think I can.” I believe I have the capability to do anything. I believe in the Little Engine That Could.