This I Believe

Robert - Orland Park, Illinois
Entered on December 19, 2007
Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: gratitude
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We are mortals born onto eternity. We are given the chance to walk the road of life. We continue the journeys of those before, and every step must be done in confidence of life’s guiding beauty. I believe life is capable of leading us, showing us beauty, and ultimately connecting us to one another.

I was born nine months after my mother’s eighteenth birthday, 28 days before my father’s nineteenth. My parents had emigrated from Poland, fleeing the communist regime. My father excelled in athletics for many years under the regime; my mother departed earlier for the U.S., enjoying her liberal education. Her road was one of the arts, appreciating reading and music, and his was another. They were about to finish high school, and go their own ways, my mother to receive the college education, and my father to participate in collegiate, or even professional, athletics. However their paths collided, and there they were, together making the decision to embrace the more sinful pleasures of life. Neither had much money, and little support, but they had enough. Just enough. Then the road forked. They could have gone straight with their lives, but they went my way.

Instead of taking the easy road, the perfectly paved road of gold and pleasure, they chose the one I was sitting on. One built on despair and pain, paved with sweat and grease. The horizon, littered with ominous clouds, foretold suffering and hardship, but they would keep me. They would labor hard for their money, and even harder for their child, because they were not frightened by this road, they saw beyond the horizon, beyond the surface. Life taught them to see beauty in it all, in me.

I was a gift, to none more than myself. I received a chance to live, to meet those unique characters who gave me the chance, and the world that created them. Life is an arduous route, but those on it have learned to trust in it, to have vision for the future. While, I have grown to be one of the most troublesome children, instead, they saw someone who would be good in his heart, his intentions, and his deeds. He may lapse every so often, but he will make them proud. He will be wise beyond his years and capable beyond his stature; he will love this world, and everything in it, for he will fight for it and everyone on it. That is my road, and I will walk it.

I believe in life, because it is beautiful and has given me so much. It has connected me to my family, my mother, my father, all my brethren who have come before me, and all those who will follow. We stand together, on a plane that stretches beyond comprehension, like golden wheat in the wind, set against a sky, as magnificent as the oceans it reflects; we echo the wonder of our existence. At our backs a brilliant orb is rising, casting radiance and joy, spilling its light onto everything in sight. It is breath-taking; it is our existence…will walk this road with me?