This I Believe

Katherine - Columbia, South Carolina
Entered on February 5, 2008
Age Group: Under 18
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Positivity Gives You Power

When I was younger my parents taught me the difference between right and wrong. Every time I fought with my brother over the last cookie I was punished. Any time I scored that winning goal for my soccer team or made a good grade I was rewarded. What I did not learn until recently, though, is that you yourself decide how you are going to view life.

I believe in being positive. Though you cannot prevent bad situations from happening, you can always choose your attitude towards those situations. The ability to choose your own attitude gives you freedom, and choosing a positive attitude ultimately gives you power. Having a positive attitude does not mean you never feel sad or angry; it means having the strength to pick yourself up after you have fallen down.

Being positive is not always an easy task. About two years ago I found out that I had fractured a vertebrae in my lower back. The treatment for my injury was to wear a huge back brace, and the healing process, I was told, could range from about six months to, well, forever. I was told that I would have life-long back pain unless I underwent physical therapy, in order to strengthen the muscles around the vertebrae. I was also told that I could not play soccer.

The first few months after I received this news were not pretty. My bad attitude reflected on my grades in school, my friends, and my family. I had often found myself angry and only thought of the bad parts of my life. Finally, after many months of physical therapy with still no results, and many months of feeling bad for myself, my dad introduced me to positive thinking. He helped me realize that even though sometimes life is not fair, that does not mean you are allowed to give up every time something goes wrong. It took several more months for my back to heal, but through physical therapy and positive thinking I was able to strengthen my back and also my mind.

My positive attitude has empowered me to beat an injury that at one time I thought I would never get rid of. To this day I still play soccer and I have no limitations. I believe in being positive; it has given me more control in my life.