This I Believe

Jessica - San marcos, Texas
Entered on February 11, 2008
Age Group: 18 - 30

I believe that the individuals who succeed the most in life are those who overcome their greatest handicap.

I am an 18 year old college student with almost no determination and no direction. In my home growing up I was always the smarter and more “normal” child compared to my brother who is three years older than I and suffers from a severe central nervous system disorder. Due to my brother’s disorder, his learning capabilities are way under par and he has never performed at the knowledge level of his peers. But I believe that his disorder has made him stronger, smarter, and a much better person than I could ever be. Throughout our younger years I never saw any difference in my brother and the kids his age but I always found it strange how he never brought any friends over or never played outside, or could not hold a pencil on his own but he was my brother no matter what and I loved him.

The high school years brought the most turbulence to our family, my brother and I attending the same school and interacting with the same judgmental kids who would never befriend a guy like my brother. Each day I felt like his shield against the snickers and hateful name calling he endured. I can only imagine how hard it was for him to try at sports, academics, and a social life with so many people telling him he couldn’t. But this is where I believe that my brother has prospered; his disorder has forced him to go beyond what is expected of a person to succeed. One of the happiest days of my life was hearing my brother’s name called and watching him walk across the stage to receive his high school diploma. I know it’s just a piece of paper but after all of the time my brother spent in remedial classes barely slipping by, I knew his life was just starting. Maybe education was not the road for my brother, but I believe that his disorder gave him the direction he needed. Now my brother is 21 years old and absolutely loves his full time job at Continental Airlines downloading and uploading the luggage from each plane. I could not be prouder of him, I only wish that I could have a fraction of the determination and drive my brother so nobly practices.