Danielle - Walkersville, Maryland
Entered on September 8, 2008
Age Group: 18 - 30
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This I Believe

This I Believe in Strength, less the physical dimension of the amount of weight one can bear, moreover the weight that one is able to burden through hardships, pain and during moments of weakness when faith has diminished, and pride has escaped. In the words of Eleanor Roosevelt, “you gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face; you must do the thing you think you cannot do, meaning, Strength prevails when hope is displaced by fear, and only those willing to fight fear itself are the ones that capture the true essence of a being with strength. I view strength as an empowering attribute, many may claim to be strong, but most never truly grasp what strength is. Moving to Shenandoah is a milestone in my life; this experience is going to shape the rest of time at this university as well as the rest of my life. I come from a family of three, my mother, father and myself. I have lived twenty years under the same roof with my parents. I was never presented with the opportunity to experience life outside of my comfort zone until now and for me, Shenandoah has proven to be one of the prime life altering decisions I have made thus far. Together my parents and I are all facing a common fear, life without living together as a family unit; granted, I am only a short distance away, however now I must do everything that my parents have done for me since I was a child, on my own, and my parents must deal with life as “empty nesters.” I must face my fear and stand up for myself when I disagree with something someone says or if I am being mistreated; I must ask my own questions if I do not understand; I am expected to take care of myself and rely on the lessons that I have learned, the morals that have been bestowed upon me by my parents, and the knowledge that I carry with me throughout life, in which my parents have taught me. My parents are expected to rely on each other now that I am no longer around. I believe that this stepping stone will be a test of strength, for everyone, especially my mother and I. Ever since I was a young child she was the main provider, and much like a best friend and a mother we are extremely close, the good-byes are pits of intense sadness, but I know together we will all manage and in time we will learn and grow as a family as well as individuals and through moments of fear, sadness and change as a unit we will gain strength to handle any obstacles that present themselves and fear itself will reshape our lives for a strengthened future.

In my opinion strength is not a characteristic in which one is able to practice or have it bestowed upon them nor it is an ability that can be learned; I believe that strength must be discovered through life’s endeavors. This particular ability must be earned, through trials and tribulations, moments of weakness and pain. Lastly, I feel that strength can be measured by one question, do you have the courage to do what it takes to “do the thing you though you couldn’t do.?” (Roosevelt) During the moments where life has you pinned without escape, are you willing to do what it takes to stare fear itself in the face and conquer it? Will you have the capability of recovering from a wrong doing? The only way to become a person of true strength is to live by morals, respect ones self and have courage to be challenged and rise above fear.