This I Believe

Stephen - Issaquah, Washington
Entered on January 27, 2008
Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: integrity
  • Podcasts

    Sign up for our free, weekly podcast of featured essays. You can download recent episodes individually, or subscribe to automatically receive each podcast. Learn more.

  • FAQ

    Frequently asked questions about the This I Believe project, educational opportunities and more...

  • Top Essays USB Drive

    This USB drive contains 100 of the top This I Believe audio broadcasts of the last ten years, plus some favorites from Edward R. Murrow's radio series of the 1950s. It's perfect for personal or classroom use! Click here to learn more.

I believe in the power to overcome. I believe that life is nothing more than a number of ups and downs, and I believe that happiness is determined by our ability to alter downs into ups. Unfortunate things happen to everyone in life, things don’t always go in our favor – or more importantly the way we would like them to.

This summer I was arrested for street racing, and for lack of better terms a person who had absolutely no idea what they were doing arrested me. The way a car sounds has no relation to speed, unless of course by putting a muffler on a car I can suddenly break the sound barrier. I could have trained a monkey to do a better job looking back on this in hindsight – which as they say is always 20/20. I’m now all too aware that being accused of a crime you didn’t commit is a trying situation. The stereotype the police officer made based on the color and appearance of my car led to an unfortunate arrest. The pure price of proving innocence in our modern society is a motive for many to plead guilty, but I made a decision that I would stand up for what is right – regardless of the price tag placed on this decision. I hired a recommended attorney and have no regrets in doing so; he did a great job in trying the case and in doing so has served as a sort of mentor and a role model in that he showed me just what the power to overcome is. In a case that was pushed to trial by a policy regarded as “zero tolerance” by a police officer who couldn’t correctly identify the color of my vehicle in the trial I was taught that people do have the power to overcome – especially when doing so in the face of wrong.

From a person’s viewpoint as being the center of the universe – after all our senses can only react to our close surroundings – things happen that can’t be accounted for, often times things that are perceived as the worst possible event. Life is unpredictable. Although I believe life is unpredictable I don’t believe there is any reason to not make the best of what happens to you, and at a very minimum learn from what happens.

There are many battles in life, many of which seem to threaten to bring our world down around us. The strength engrained in human nature is the fuel for everyone person to be able to believe – and if you are able to believe then you are able to stand up for what you believe in. Finding ways to express your opinions and correctly challenge things you disagree with can often be difficult, but as with everything the difficulty is rewarded in the end because you know deep down inside that you did the right thing.

I believe in standing up for what is right.