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This I Believe

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I believe that some things are more important than other things. This perhaps may seem to be a gross over generalization but it is this exact quality that gives the phrase its meaning and influence. Let me explain.

I sat at lunch with a friend; her picking at a sandwich was saying much more than she. I asked her what the trouble was. She cried. We spend the next few hours together, despite missing class completely. Some things are more important than others.

I sit with 240 other students. Our professor is laying out our third exam papers, freshly graded. Some seem very pleased, other disappointed and some less inclined to care. I’m waiting in-line. I’m not sure I’m breathing. Snatching my exam, I race out of the classroom. Now I am waiting at the bus stop, wondering if I’m going to pass organic chemistry II. I wanted to cry, but I could not. Some things are more important.

It’s Friday morning and there are several inches of snow and ice on the roads. Despite the university remaining open and classes proceeding as usual, I recognize I shouldn’t drive today. Nevertheless, I NEED to go to the lab or I will not pass. As the car in front of me makes a complete 360 degree turn in the middle of the road and circles onto the side walk, I realize….some things are more important.

My older brother has just called to tell my family he will be visiting this weekend. He is brave and training hard to serve his country. He’ll soon be ready to return, once again, to Afghanistan. I am not sad as I quickly call my friends and tell them I’ll have to take a rain check. Some things are more important.

I push my hand up into the air, Mrs. Rosen has missed grading my test. My incorrect answer has been given full credit; I know I should tell her. She says, “Oh dear! I did miss grading that, but I’m going to keep your grade the same. Thank you for being honest.” She pats my back. Some things are more important.

A friend in need, mental health and peace of mind, physical safety, family and honesty are things that I have deemed more important, and these are, but a few. Undoubtedly, life can be far more complex than this and will require a greater strength and struggle of decision-making. Yet, the rule still applies – Some things are just more important.

“You are killing yourself,” the doctor says to the woman who is two hundred pounds overweight. Her heart sinks as she promises to follow the doctor’s instructions. She wants to see her son graduate. She realizes that some things are more important.

The solider is barely breathing. He is afraid, and starved, and broken. But he will not betray his country. Some things are more important.

I believe in being able to decide what is more important to me. And when I feel myself failing in this conviction, I look to others for inspiration. Henri Frederic Amiel is one of them. The following words serve to remind me of the belief I hold, when I do not seem to grasp it:

A man must be able to cut a knot, for everything cannot be untied;

he must know how to disengage what is essential from the detail in which it is enwrapped, for everything cannot be equally considered;

in a word, he must be able to simplify his duties, his business and his life.

Mr. Amiel too believes in deciding what is essential, in choosing which things are of worth to us. This is how I see life and how I choose to live. I make judgments based on what is most important to me. When reflecting on what was important to me several years ago, I laugh….and sometimes cringe. For the love of humanity, I can’t seem to imagine why being liked was more important than being me. From this I can see that what is important will always change and what I choose now, may not be what I choose tomorrow. And that is all right. I believe some things are more important, but I also believe I have to choose that for myself.

I plan on continuing to tell myself, some things are more important. The belief has led to many good decisions and some bad ones. But again, some things are more important than others, I realize.

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