Two hours after I was born, my family’s cries of joy became cries of sadness. The doctors had told my parents that I was blind and would never be able to walk. A year later, I shocked everyone by taking my first few steps. And the blindness – turns out I have 20/20 vision. It wasn’t miracles, religion or therapy that cured me; it was simply an incorrect diagnosis. Yet it changed my family’s life forever because two weeks later, my parents bought one-way tickets from Moscow to New York City. If it had not been for that doctor’s mistake, I would still be in Russia. It is why I believe that everything happens for a reason.
From the most trivial of events to the most important, I live everyday with the belief those things have happened for a reason. Sometimes the explanation is apparent immediately. Oftentimes, the result is one that you never could have expected. As an incoming freshman, my parents forced me to sign up for an orientation program through the Jewish student union. I argued and fought with them for weeks, trying any way I could to get out of it. Looking back now, losing that fight was one of the best things that could have happened for me. Although I didn’t know it at that time, it forever changed my life for the better.
For me, my belief isn’t simply a statement. It is a way to understand the things that have happened to me and apply it to my life. Instead of dwelling on the past, I try and live in the present. It has given me greater confidence to make decisions because I have learned that regardless of the result, there always exists an opportunity to learn.