Justin - LaSalle, Colorado
Entered on December 5, 2008
Age Group: Under 18
  • 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.

Although I cannot say that my belief has easily come from one experience alone, but rather a collection of experiences, I would have to say that my U.S. history class had the most profound impact on my belief. In U.S. history we learned about two Presidents, President Hoover, and President Franklin D. Roosevelt. What set these two apart from any of the other presidents for me was that they were both faced with the same crisis yet only one is blamed for the crisis.

In 1928 the Great Depression hit, causing millions to loose jobs and putting our country in the worst economic situation in our history. This happened while President Hoover was in office and continued until in 1933 President Roosevelt won election with all but six states. The great depression never got any better when Hoover was in office, but Roosevelt instituted the “New Deal” creating jobs and relief programs for millions. This, “New Deal” got America back up on her feet and got her walking in a direction out of the depression. Now, Hoover could have created all the same programs but he didn’t. Hoover is thought of as the blame for the depression, even if he wasn’t, but Roosevelt is thought of as a hero, being the only President to serve more than two terms. And this is what leads me to by belief.

I believe in leadership, in it’s power and in it’s importance.

We have seen situations in Africa and other parts of the world where a rebellion throws out an already weakened government and the situation turns into pure chaos. I have seen in my very own school system how the actions of those in leadership can create a good learning environment, or can disrupt that learning environment.

Another good example of the power and importance of leadership is if a middle school teacher leaves a classroom full of kids, how do the kids act? Well, the instant that teacher walks out the door everyone starts talking, Jim pulls Suzie’s hair, Charlie starts throwing paper and it turns into a mess. Why does it turn into such a mess? Because the teacher who acted as leadership in the classroom and provided guidance for all the students is now gone and that is similar to what has been seen in Africa.

I am curious to see with our new President if he will provide relief similar to that of Roosevelt and if in the future we won’t compare this election to that of Hoover and Roosevelt. Only time will tell but never-the-less our new president has the both the opportunity to help our situation or the opportunity to burden our situation because of leadership’s strength and importance.