Bursting Your Own Bubble

Yeonji - Manlius, New York
Entered on December 11, 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.

Have you ever been told to “always look on the bright side”? Rather than be always optimistic, I believe in bursting your own bubble. This means telling yourself that things will get better, and that they can turn bad just as quickly.

When met with good fortune, it is important to keep in mind that it could lead to sadness. Likewise, you can never know whether a negative event could affect your life in a positive manner.

In Korea, there is a fable that tells the story of an old man who understood this very well. When his horse ran away, he told the villagers that good things could come of it. When he found a wild horse in his stable, he said its arrival may not be a true blessing. The old man’s only son later fell from the horse and broke his leg. Once again, the man brushed it off, saying that it may have been a good thing. When war broke out in the country, all of the young men in the village were drafted and sent to war, and many fell in battle. However, the old man’s son had been excused because of his injury and his life was spared.

Experiences in my own life have led me to believe that any event can have unforeseen results. For instance, once when I went camping, I tripped while hiking and cut my leg. As a result, my dad took me back to our campsite because he thought that walking would be bad for the wound. About half an hour after the rest of my family had left I was still sulking when suddenly it started to pour. When my parents and sister got back, they were all soaking wet while I had gotten to stay inside of the tent. I couldn’t have predicted that a cut could save me from getting caught in that storm but that was what happened.

The importance of being cautious when good things happen to you is that it prevents you from being too disappointed. After something bad occurs, it is good to be optimistic because it brings hope. Like with the butterfly effect, you can never tell exactly what will result from any of the small events that go unnoticed in your life every day.