An Enduring Spirit

Rachel - Blue Bell, Pennsylvania
Entered on May 27, 2008
Age Group: 18 - 30
  • 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.

An Enduring Spirit

“The core of a man’s spirit comes from new experience.” –Christopher McCandless. These words from an idealistic young man speak a truth that has morphed into many different, specific meanings. However, I believe that the basic joy that man gets from life comes from new experiences. Experiences are what make good stories, make a person unique, give people a feeling of accomplishment, and shows a person that the world is meant to be explored.

Do you remember the first time you rode a bike by yourself? Or the first time you saw the glistening white towers of the castle in Disney World? Or your first day of kindergarten? Those moments stick out in your mind for a reason. These experiences provide a poignant emotion, whether it be joy, independence, awe, or fear. No matter how much you have heard about it, nothing can compare to the emotion of actually experiencing it. New experiences allow people to look out of their average life, to see what more the world has to offer. Without breaking out of the daily mold, what else has man to look forward to? He is stuck in his microcosm, never knowing the outside world.

Man may look to relationships or money to find a joy unique only to new experiences. However, if man was complacent with his relationships, what incentive would he have to meet new people? I believe that one of the greatest joys is meeting new people, and learning from them, hearing their world perspective. When man expands his view, he gets not only a better sense of the world around him, but also of himself. This need to experience the new is what put man on the moon, what made the Pilgrims travel across oceans to lands uncharted, what made Sir George Everest climb the tallest mountain in the world. These experiences show the will and endurance of mankind to overstep boundaries, and the resilience of the human spirit in the face of obstacles. They allow the individual to look outside of their lives, and see themselves as not a sole being, but as part of the universe. The most of your fondest memories will be first experiences, when you get an indescribable feeling of ecstasy. It is not the prize that is important, but it is rather the journey that shapes the person’s outlook on life.

The sense of adventure is engrained deep within the human spirit. Whether it be bungee jumping, trying exotic foods, or visiting a foreign country, all of these experiences shape us to become the people we are. These are the experiences we live for, that make us stronger individuals, which feed a fire inside that pushes mankind to explore new limits, to break through the barriers of yesterday and let the imagination soar. These experiences allow us to understand what it means to be alive. This I believe.