This I Believe

Angela - 13210, New York
Entered on January 22, 2008
Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: setbacks

I believe that something good comes out of every situation. This can be an extremely difficult task at times, especially when you are in the middle of the toughest situation of your life, or you just lost someone you love and care for deeply. But through both personal experiences and outside guidance, I’ve learned that there is good and bad in every situation, and it’s up to you to make the most out of it.

There was an 8-year-old girl my best friend used to know who was born with a severe brain tumor. The doctors told her that she would only have 6-7 years to live. She proved them wrong and passed away at age 8. Although her death was terribly depressing for her family, they were able to accept the situation peacefully. That’s because for those 8 years they were given, her mom and dad spent every minute of every day with her and made the most out of those years they were given. The girl didn’t go to school, and the mom quit her job to spend every day with her. Their family said she lived the happiest and most perfect 8 years of her life before she passed, which is more than some people have in a lifetime.

In one personal instance, I remember sitting in my homeroom in high school, joking as usual, when my teacher said to us, “Hey, did you hear? A plane just crashed into the World Trade Center.” My heart sank as I quickly checked the time. 8:58 a.m. My mom would be in her office by this time, on the 89th floor of the first tower. The phone networks were all busy and there was no way I could get in contact with her. In my heart, I knew she was gone. I kept telling myself that she was gone until thankfully I later learned that she was minutes away from the building and had survived. I was extremely grateful to still have my mother with me that night, even though we did lose many close co-workers as well as our secretary that day. After almost losing my mother during the terrorist attacks of 9/11, I developed a newfound appreciation for my mom. People in our society shy away from talking about death, and at times like to think we are invincible creatures. I started helping my mom a lot more whenever I could and didn’t take life or granted.

Then there are the more general instances like World War II and the Great Depression. World War II brought stronger relations with foreign countries, and the Great Depression helped us learn that an economy with such an unequal distribution of wealth can only end in turmoil.

It’s unfortunate that it has to take a terrible and traumatizing experience make a person start living a more fulfilling life, or for companies and the government to execute things more fairly, but I learned to accept it, because that’s just the way life works. If you want to grow stronger, you must learn to see the good in everything that happens in your life – no matter what that may be. When hard times hit, as lonely and painful as it can be, try to find the good that can possibly be derived from it and you may feel more at peace. See what you can learn from the experience and how you can work on becoming an even better person overall. This I believe.