2017-02-04 / The Rock


Rock page staff — First row, from left, Britney Annas, Jazmin Ibarra, Sarah Boone, Payton Krause and Brittany Farman; second row, Gavin Goodwin, DeAngelo Wade, Hunter Williams, Kyel Torain, Treyshon Woods, Noah Chambers, Paige Mangum and Keriston Stephens Rock page staff — First row, from left, Britney Annas, Jazmin Ibarra, Sarah Boone, Payton Krause and Brittany Farman; second row, Gavin Goodwin, DeAngelo Wade, Hunter Williams, Kyel Torain, Treyshon Woods, Noah Chambers, Paige Mangum and Keriston Stephens With the change of the semester, PHS journalism has a new Rock staff. New staff members decided to craft their own “This I Believe” short essays to introduce themselves to the community.

This I Believe, Inc., was founded in 2004 as an independent, not-for-profit organization that engages youth and adults from all walks of life in writing, sharing, and discussing brief essays about the core values that guide their daily lives. This I Believe is based on a 1950s radio program of the same name, hosted by acclaimed journalist Edward R. Murrow. Each day, Americans gathered by their radios to hear compelling essays from the likes of Eleanor Roosevelt, Jackie Robinson, Helen Keller, and Harry Truman as well as corporate leaders, cab drivers, scientists, and secretaries—anyone able to distill into a few minutes the guiding principles by which they lived. These essayists’ words brought comfort and inspiration to a country worried about the Cold War, McCarthyism, and racial division. (http://thisibelieve.org/)


I believe that the world, being the dark and discouraging place it is, is something we all need an escape from. My escape is watching movies, television shows, and other forms of entertainment. I am not afraid of watching horror or thriller movies, but I would rather be left with a good feeling after watching a movie. Movies have always been close to my heart. I hope they will put bread on my table one day. I plan to attend Liberty University in the fall to study cinematic arts to learn how to create television shows and movies. I want to help others escape from reality by making good, clean comedies, offering viewers a chance to forget, for a moment, about paying bills, dealing with problems in their lives, or suffering from boredom. I believe we all need to make a point to find time to escape the normal world, which is a fallen one that is often disappointing. We should look toward the truth and light-hearted aspects of life and refrain from worrying so much about this world. More specifically, we should look toward the one who saved us from this world, God. If television and movies can help us temporarily escape, we might find life can be better than any tough situations we are dealing with at the moment.


I believe the central bank of the United States, the Federal Reserve, should be audited. I believe any institution that has the power to print however much money they want and do with it whatever it wishes should have their actions open to public officials and the public in general. I believe if the federal government is not audited, Americans will continue to be pulled into foreign affairs that endanger our liberties rather than protect our liberties. Taxpayers will also continue to be coerced into buying out big businesses that have not done their job of staying in business. A business’ job is to deliver a good that the people want and will pay for. If a business is going bankrupt, then it obviously did not produce for the people and the people do not want it. Without federal auditing, inflation will continue to worsen, and prices will continue to rise. The American dollar will be worth less. I believe we should audit the federal government.


I believe in happiness. Growing up, I was told that I had to be successful to be happy. So what is success? Does it come with having a lot of money, a home, car, and other luxuries? No. Aristotle once said, “To live happily is an inward power of the soul,” and I believe he was right. Happiness is a journey of love and hope found in family, friends, and in planning for the future. Happiness does not come overnight and may not be easy to achieve. We often take two steps forward and then three steps back as we strive to reach our goals. We should focus on finding work that makes us feel we are doing something great for others, which will lead to securing happiness. My classmates often find themselves challenged in difficult classes, making them unhappy. They should push forward, try to better themselves, and they will find happiness in their success. Have love and hope, and I believe happiness will come.


I believe being involved in sports can teach valuable life lessons. Athletes learn responsibility. They learn what it means to fulfill a role on a team, working together. Athletes learn how to establish a work ethic, which helps propel them in other ambitious endeavors. Playing a sport gives people an opportunity to build confidence. When athletes push forward, it also pushes others involved to do the same. Athletes often learn what may seem impossible is possible. I believe everyone involved learns how to work together for the good of the team--the player, the coach, and the fans. Players gain trust in their teammates. Coaches educate athletes on the value of teamwork. Fans offer the support needed to drive the momentum. Running toward an end zone with the hope of scoring a touchdown, shooting a game winning basket as the time runs down on the clock, believing to stun the arena, racing down smoldering asphalt with a pounding heart can send athletes through a number of emotions — happiness, sorrow, anger, frustration, excitement and hope. No matter how the competition ends, a new day will come, another day of hard work and learning valuable life lessons.


In the world today, it seems like everyone gets a second chance at everything for almost anything. A second chance can be a blessing but giving it can also mean having someone take advantage of it. I am from a traditional family with old-fashioned values where second chances are rare. I had to push to do things right the first time because I usually only had one shot at getting it right. I believe second chances are forgiving someone for not being able to do something right the first time. When wronged, I only give others a second chance if I can trust I will not be wronged again. When I’m given a second chance, whether involves school, sports, or other things in my life, I make sure I will get it right the second time. I am always thankful to have another opportunity. I believe second chances are honorable when the opportunity is respected.


I believe people should live their lives without regret, living in the present rather than the past or future. We do not have enough time in our lives to worry ourselves with the could haves, should haves, or would haves. Instead of worrying, people should work to better themselves, working toward self-love rather than self-hate. Life teaches many lessons. We have to learn from them and improve as human beings so we can get far in life. We cannot allow tough ties to kick us down; instead, we must know things can improve and turn what’s bad into something special. NBA star, LeBron James, grew up in a one parent household without financial stability, but he found his niche in basketball, worked hard on it, improved, and moved from tough times to something greater. He was the first athlete drafted in the 2003 NBA draft. He has helped his teams win NBA championships, including his hometown of Cleveland after 40 years without one. There are so many others who have also fought their way out of hardship to success, such as Oprah Winfrey, Ralph Lauren, Ken Langone, Howard Schultz, and more. We must live without regret and believe in our success because no one else is going to make it happen for us.


I believe every person I meet is a best friend that I simply have not realized yet. I have been privileged to go on vacations, to school, and other public places that have all allowed me to meet a variety of people. I can always find something in common with each person I meet. Since I was a young boy, elders in my family have often told me that all people are connected. We are all one family. We all enter this world in the same way. We may be connected spiritually, mentally, or physically. Either way, it does not matter what race or background we come from, we are connected. When I was in the seventh grade, a new student enrolled in my class. He did not get along well with others. I decided to eat lunch with him and found we were different, yet we seemed focused on the same things. We were connected mentally. We began hanging out each day, and we still do. When meeting others, be you. Real connections with others will form as a result.


I believe that listening to music, strengthens a person emotionally. Do you remember the last time you heard a song that made you sad? A song that made you happy? I do. Most teenagers, nowadays, turn to music to help them cope with whatever they may be dealing with at that time. I believe it helps in a way that other people may not be able to give. For instance, one day I was dealing with problems that none of my friends could help me with, but I remembered hearing that one song that related well to me. It helped me remember that I was not alone. I picked myself back up and tried again.

Watching my dad helped as well. Whenever he had a bad day or even a great day, he listened to music to help express how he was feeling. My father always told me how good it felt to have a nostalgic song bring back feelings and memories felt long ago. It is the same for me. I feel happy and nostalgic when I listen to music. Music is associated with almost every emotion. Without it, I believe this world would be dull. Music brings a sense of personality and emotion to the world. Can you link a song to a good memory you have? A song that makes you feel overwhelmed with emotions? A song that makes you think of someone special to you? I believe music makes us better.


I choose to believe in the good in the world. With so much negativity around us, the good seems to get pushed aside. Small towns like Roxboro reminds me that there are good people in the midst of all the hate. We stop for funeral processions and pull over to allow emergency vehicles to pass. We support small businesses. We believe in “love thy neighbor.” Community events such as Friday night football games and Main Street parades bring us together. Believing there is good in the world has made me more aware of times when I should walk away from a difficult moment rather than engage. Recognizing good even when things are bad is key in being happy.


I believe that people should step out of their comfort zone. Stepping out of the area that one is comfortable in can be surprising, and it is interesting how much change occurs. How did Kristen Bell, Marlon Brando, and George Clooney achieve what they did without stepping out of their bed of roses? Whether a person is happy with where he or she is in life or is headstrong enough to move forward and leave a place of comfort makes all the difference. What if someone really wanted to achieve something but never grew to achieve that goal? We sometimes have to step outside the boundaries to defy being average and ordinary. Trying something new is not easy, but it does not have to be uncomfortable. I believe all should take a leap of faith and step out of their comfort zones.


I believe that everything happens for a reason even if the reason is not apparent. Often times, we are faced with a problem that seems impossible to conquer and question why it has to happen to us. Sickness, injuries, and accidents are are not the best times, but hope and prosperity can rise from them. Someone very close to me was a victim of a medical malpractice case, a time that was difficult for her. I questioned why she had to endure it, but I later accepted there was a reason and something to be learned from it. I now look for the best in every situation, with the glass half full instead of half empty. We can benefit from every mistake or poor decision because there was a reason behind it.


This world is full of criminals and people addicted to drugs. People often turn away from them without trying to understand the reasons for their actions. We can find good in these people too. Like us, they are human beings who deserve to be treated the same. They deserve a chance to explain what has lead them down the paths they are on. We must move past our fears and past what we see externally. We must seek the good in people, no matter the road they are on.


I believe that everyone should be knowledgeable about other countries, cultures, and languages. When we have educated ourselves about other countries and their people, we have a better understanding. It breaks down stereotypes. In high school, foreign language classes are offered that sometimes offer students the opportunity to travel to France or Germany. I hope to make use of this opportunity and travel to France. I have traveled to Mexico where I can better use my ability to speak Spanish. Even speaking other languages exposes us to people from different cultures through our interactions with them in school and in jobs. I believe that everyone should have knowledge about other countries and languages in order to interact comfortably and respectfully.

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