This I Believe

Susan - Twentynine Palms, California
Entered on December 13, 2007
Age Group: 18 - 30

What matters most is how well you walk through the fire, this is the title of a book of poems, by Charles Bukowski. One of my friends gave me the book when I was going through a hard time. I had just found out that I had not been accepted for the National R.O.T.C. scholarship and that I was disqualified from the program because of my poor eyesight. I couldn’t believe that this little piece of paper just altered my entire life plan. I had trained for 6 months, running everyday and lifting weights, and had passed both the interview and physical fit test. I felt like that eye examination had ruined my life. Then, my friend gave me the book and told me that what mattered was how well I dealt with this unexpected turn in life. This one sentence empowered me then and continues to empower me whenever I feel like I have hit rock bottom. I read the title and contemplate how difficult my obstacle may be, but how accomplished I’ll feel when I have overcome it. This makes me self-determined and empowered.

As a social work student, this book title has helped me better understand the importance of self-determination and empowerment when working with clients. As a social worker I will empower people to liberate themselves from oppression and give them the strength and self-determination to change their lives. I believe this will help them “walk through the fire.” I hope that what I can do for them is guide them through these unexpected turns in life and see how not all unexpected turns can lead to disaster.

I believe that turns such as this are needed in life to test people. If I lived my life without ever facing a dilemma, how would I build character? The challenge needs to present itself so I can prove to myself that I can overcome anything put before me.

Life’s little turn on me has changed my life for the best. I found social work. This area of study is now my way of life not just my major at a university. If it had not been for my unfortunate event, I may still be working on being a nurse and hating every minute of it. I have found my passion, and now I thank the fire for forming in the first place.