Life’s Perspectives

Bryan - Red Lion, Pennsylvania
Entered on May 16, 2008
Age Group: Under 18
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Negative thoughts of life can cloud our reality making us perceive things inaccurately. This I Believe: Perception of life can be negative or positive depending on how you react to life’s obstacles. You should never give up no matter how much doubt you have in your mind.

In my fourth grade year I made the decision to play the flute. This choice had dire consequences. Mental scarring, misery, and countless times in which I felt like all the happiness had left my life. I was the only male flutist and I was constantly ridiculed in a cruel manner. But as this experience progressed, my life improved substantially. Respect was gained and people noticed me and I soon felt like I had made the right choice even though doubt was always present.

Fourth grade was a tough year and I was a miserable little boy. I had low self-esteem and everyday was a nightmare. Darkness walked in the shadow of my every step. I had no friends, no grades, and no therapist to make the hurt vanish. That changed the day I met my first real friend: Jarik, and it was as if the troubles had been lifted off my shoulders. We became best friends and he taught me to believe in myself, have faith in my judgments, and never feel like I’m alone.

Another frustrating struggle began when I was placed in average classes entering the pubescent years of middle school. This made me feel disillusioned of my true abilities. I believed that this was not where I actually belonged; that I was destined to be something more. While in these classes I was an average student because I was not challenged. My reality was being dictated by my pessimistic thoughts and I found myself not even trying to excel even though I knew I was qualified.

Life continued to be increasingly better than I had anticipated it to be. In the very same year as I entered middle school, I received what I consider to be the highlight of my life. I was placed in the advanced classes. I finally felt important (except for playing the flute). I began to excel. My mother said to me [the day I received the news], “You can do it Bryan. This is the opportunity you’ve been waiting for; to prove to yourself that you are capable of this challenge. Now is the time to embrace your intelligence.”

“What if I can’t?” I responded.

While doubting her words, I could hear her say to my disbelief, “JUST DO IT.” So I set out to do just that.

There is a poem entitled “A Dream Deferred” by Langston Hues. It questions what would happen to a dream that was neglected by someone who had the audacity to throw it away. By allowing our minds to believe the dream is possible, we can keep it alive until it is achieved. I tell you now I am not the person who would throw away such an opportunity. I believe to look past the world’s faults and only focus on its values. If we hold strong in our beliefs we can achieve the greatest possible glory: success.