James - Marietta, Georgia
Entered on October 17, 2008
Age Group: Under 18
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In the summer of 2008, I had my wisdom teeth removed. Suffice to say, it was not a pleasant experience. However, my experience was even more antagonizing than most. The painkillers did not affect me despite all the extra dosages I was injected with. As a result, I was able to feel the doctor forcefully yank out each tooth and accidentally slice open my lip with a scalpel after his arm unexpectedly twitched.

By the end of the day, I was miserable. I felt nauseous from the taste of blood and gauze. I was exhausted from the loss of blood, and I was still aching from the operation. However, in the mist of my agony, something happened that helped to take my mind off the pain. That night, my father announced to my family that he got hired by a new firm that was willing to pay him a higher salary than his old job. The news of my father’s employment was the best I’ve heard in weeks. After hearing this, the memories of the grueling operation faded away. I went to bed that night thinking that all was right in the world.

I believe in the balance of the universe. I believe that every bad moment will be offset by a good one, and if you do good, then good will in turn be done to you. The harrowing experience of having my wisdom teeth pulled was balanced by the ecstatic moment of learning that my father had landed himself a good job. This belief keeps me afloat in trying times. No matter how bad things are at the moment, I remind myself that good times will be coming soon to cancel out the bad. This belief makes me kind to others. It is my personal version of the Golden Rule: goods deeds will benefit me later while bad ones will come back to haunt me. Experience teaches me to honor this philosophy. There have been instances where one rude, thoughtless comment affected the kind of relationship I have with someone.

Some people laugh when I tell them of my philosophy. They view it as naïve, thinking it is for people who cannot take responsibility for their own actions. They say that the quality of a person’s life depends on that person’s character, not that person’s actions. My philosophy is a part of my character. My beliefs are what make me me. When those same people ask me how I retain my spirit when everything in my life appears to be going wrong, I flash them a knowing smile and shrug my shoulders. I pity them because they doubt the power of belief.