This I Believe

James - Seal Beach, California
Entered on March 16, 2009
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: carpe diem
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This I Believe Essay

I believe that living life purely for enjoyment is the greatest thing on Earth, but it is also something to be mindful of. I have had many moments when I have been having a lot of fun and then have the fun turn into danger within seconds. There was one incident that stuck out the most to me, though. When I was about 8 years of age, I ventured to my cousin’s house frequently in the summer because he had a new pool. One day I found myself struggling for life as I stumbled upon a joy-bringing, but also dangerous inner tube.

This day would always be remembered as a fright inside me. I discovered this small inner tube and thought it would be fun to try swimming inside the inner tube. I had leaned over the front to stick my arms in the water to paddle and I flipped the tube upside down. I couldn’t get out of the tube because it was so small and I started panicking and wasting all of my energy. I started to run out of breath, and just before I took in a gulp of water my aunt grabbed me and pulled me out of the tube. I was so grateful for a gasp of fresh air that it made me reconsider just how fragile life really is. Sure, there are many things that bring joy to life, but these are things that can can turn in to bad situations if you do something wrong.

This event really showed me that life is something that you should treasure because it can be taken away from you in just one instant. This event taught me a good lesson: That I should always try to have fun, but I just need to be careful not to get myself in to trouble. Another event that occurred in which I almost got hurt was in Big Sky, Montana, when I was about 11 years old. The mountain was beautiful with its fresh snow and I had the privilege of skiing on this mountain. This morning, I woke up to the smell of pancakes in our cabin and a breath of fresh mountain air. As I was skiing on the mountain with my family, we came around the sharp corner of a run. I turned my skis and caught an edge that flipped me over and partially down the side of a cliff. The only hand hold I found was a tiny tree; this tree was weak and starting to bend significantly. A man saw me and immediately helped me and grabbed me just before I lost my grip and fell. I was terrified and also happy because my life had basically just been saved. This event brought to me the importance of taking notice of the world around you and taking precautions to keep you safe in that environment.

Both of these events were great examples of showing me that fun things can instantly turn into scary situations. I have learned that life is about taking risks; these risks can be enjoyable, but they also tag a price that may be paid if you are not safe and careful with the environment you are in.