"This I Believe..." Essays

English 2B - Mr. Schauble

I believe in the power of Mother Nature. I believe that no one has the power has the power to control Mother Nature and that she will forever hold her power. No one can predict the weather a year from now or a couple years from now except for the one that creates the weather.

When the citizens of the world have so much pollution, Mother Nature is angry and forces bad weather on us as a punishment. We have Global warming because Mother Nature is angry with humans for using up fossil fuels and polluting our ecosystems. I believe that Mother Nature is a big supported of the Golden Rule stating, “Do unto others as you would want others to do unto you.” Whenever we do something wrong or bad she will punish is for our wrong doing.

For as long as I could remember, the weather man on the news has been telling us the weather. The weather man only can make predictions on what Mother Nature is going to do. This is why the weather man is wrong a lot. They make an educated guess on what Mother Nature is going to do.

Mother Nature really controls us in a way and is a big part of our lives. We take her for granted and do not pay enough thanks and praise to her. Just last week she decided to have a rain storm that killed electricity in the eastern side of our island. Schools were not in session for days. If Mother Nature wanted to she could make it show in Hawaii and keep us locked in our houses for as long as she wants.

Mother Nature will always throw twists at us and keep on guessing. It is not a good thing to test her power by causing more pollution. The weather man can only tell us so much which is still not proved to be true. I believe Mother Nature can do anything and change our lives and future. I believe in the power of Mother Nature.

- Kai

I believe in the power of love. I believe that love has the capability of making people go to etremes to achieve this indescribable feeling. Love can drive people to do amazing or horrible things. It can bring people together or tear them apart just as easily. It is the one thing that is inevitable for a person to feel or want.

Love is often a feeling that is very difficult to describe in words. A lot of the time it is left to "the warm and fuzzy feeling you get when you're around someone who is special to you". However, when love cannot be put into terms of warm and fuzzy, we are often left with a feeling that feels better than almost anything we are capable of feeling. Since love is a feeling which tops out pretty much any other feeling, it is in human nature to seek love in some way until we find it. If we do find or feel love, we begin to want it more or hold on to it as best as we can.

With wanting or having love, comes sacrifice to achieve the feeling of love. Sometimes, people spend their entire lives trying to find love. They begin to push other things away in order to make finding love easier. Other times, if people do find love and somehow the love disappears, people can becom bitter toward one another and end up disliking or even hating each other. But all in all, love can drive people to do crazy, hurtful or interesting things. In another way, love can simply put, blind people. Someone can become a completely different person pursuing love, but they may not even realize it. They are too caught up in finding love and feeling it.

In a more optimistic way, love has the power to touch everyone and anyone. Love is a feeling which is indifferent to who you are, how much money you make, where you live, etc. It is a feeling which can touch anyone as long as they let love in. A man who lives with no money and no home can have the same amount of love for someone/something as a person with billions of dollars who lives in a mansion in Malibu. Both people have the capability of feeling and giving the same amount of love.

The search to find love is one that is unpredictable and finds people at different points of people's lives. Love can bring people together or tear them apart. It can change a person for the better or for the worse. Love is one thing that each person in the entire world can feel and relate to and can touch anyone. The power of love is one that is amazing and beautiful if we know how to handle it.

- Marissa

I believe in the importance of physical fitness. Physical fitness has a large affect on a person’s attitude, feelings, and actions. Exercise has many positive effects. The more people exercise and become physically fit, the more happier people would be.
By exercising you become very fit and get into good shape. This will help you to gain confidence and feel better about yourself. You will also feel better after you exercise, because endorphins are released and you feel refreshed. This leads to a more positive attitude. Exercising also increases energy levels and cardiovascular endurance. This lets you be more active without feeling tired. By exercising and staying active, your body feels much better than it would if you were just sitting around doing nothing.

Exercising clears your mind. It gives you a period of time to just relax and can calm you in the most troubling times. Physical fitness is a great stress reliever because it is time that you can use to get your mind off of your problems.
Exercising can also help you socially. If you join a team, you spend lots of time with people you might not have spent time with otherwise. You meet new people and can make long lasting friendships. You can also learn important values such as teamwork and leadership. Exercising creates an area to excel in. It maximizes your potential because it encourages you to try your hardest and be the best you can be.

Physical fitness is a way to improve endurance, both physically and mentally. The more you exercise the better you get. There is always room for improvement and practicing is the best way to improve. Also you can become very strong mentally. Mental toughness is important because it can make all the difference during a practice, a game, or a race. No matter how hard something may seem, by telling yourself that you are doing great and you can keep going, you will be able to give everything you have until the end.

Another advantage of engaging in physical fitness, is that you are more likely to start other healthy habits such as eating better, drinking more water, and getting more sleep at night. These are all good habits which will improve your overall happiness.

Physical fitness is one aspect of your life that can improve your overall happiness in many ways. If you are not active, it is an easy habit to start, and if you already are active, it is an easy habit to continue. Exercising can help you gain confidence, have a better attitude, make friends, relieve stress, become stronger (physically and mentally), and be a happier person. Physical fitness is a great habit that leads to a very healthy lifestyle.

- Stephanie

I believe in giving people second chances. There are always situations where people try really hard in something and they don’t make it. Well, I think that everyone deserves a second chance if they tried hard and never gave up. If a person initially didn’t try or work hard for something, then they don’t really deserve to have a second chance.

It also has to do with forgiveness. Forgiveness is an important value of mine. A person may have acted strange or mean, but they deserve a second chance if they are truly sorry. I believe that everyone is a person who wants to have another chance to shine if they don’t do good the first time around.

Of course, we cannot have a second chance to retake a math test or make a speech. But we can certainly forgive others in friendships and comments. It is not good to hold grudges against people because it makes the world and atmosphere sour. We should try to think positively and forgive.

Once again, giving a second chance to someone is dependant on the person’s overall attitude. If they sit there and procrastinate, then they deserve what they get because it is their decision to make that choice. In an audition situation, it is hard to determine if a person gets a second chance to audition. Once you play the notes, there is no turning back. You have to go and hope for the best.

I believe that second chances apply to things that are emotional, spiritual, or can be improved. Take writing for an example, people are always trying to improve their writing. Teachers and critics usually give the writer second chances to revise because writing can always be improved. It is okay if there is a grammatical error, as long as it is corrected and remembered. The ideas will eventually become clearer. Drafts will turn into final papers. It all depends on how hard the person will try.

Second chances are great for people want to express themselves in a way that they couldn’t the first time around. People are not perfect but they should aim high. But they should be given the option to improve or further explain their beliefs.

- Chloe

I believe that honesty is the best policy. Honesty is the best policy because it is straight and to the point. Although some people might want the sugar coated answer, I would rather have the hard truth. Honesty is a great way to strengthen friendships because it is a way for you to gain your friends trust.

Honesty is also based upon the thing that you are trying to be honest about. Although some may not want to tell their friends the honest answer because they are afraid to hurt their friend’s feelings, I would rather have the truth said to me right then and there. If you think about it what is better, knowing the truth about something right then and there or finding out the truth later in life knowing that if you found out earlier your life would be different.

Although it may seem like it is better to sugar coat your answers to your friends, I think that it is better to just answer the question honestly. By answering the question honestly, the person is able to rely on you to tell them the truth when ever they need you to.

Honesty helps build friendships because of the trust that is needed to be able to be honest with one another. Although some may say that the honest answer will hurt friendships or break them, I think that honesty in the long run will strengthen the friendship. If you think about it, if the friendship is that important that they are asking you to be honest with them, then don’t you think that you guys should be able to overcome the answers? Also, they are the ones asking you to be honest with them so they can’t get mad if you tell them the truth.

Honesty is the best way to go in life even though it may not seem like it. I would say the only time that you might have to think about being honest is when it is a matter of life or death other than that I would try to be honest all the time.

- Tyler

I believe that man’s greatest ability is to succeed after he has failed. People are faced with grief, unhappiness and failure almost daily. Sometimes that is enough to wholly defeat a person, to make him crawl into a corner and never come out. The greatest people are those who are able to succeed when faced with failure.

I am a swimmer. I swim on a club team, all year round, with only a week or two at most to break. It is grueling; sometimes I wake up at 6:00 to swim for an hour and a half, go to school, then swim for another two hours after. The pain is intense, but I have always endured it. By swimming harder, I know I can become faster.

But no matter how hard I work, I seem to always come in last place. It hurts to know that people who don’t train as hard are able to swim faster and better than me. It makes me feel as though no matter what I do, I will never achieve success. That is when I feel I have failed.
But I don’t quit. I persist through the feeling of helplessness and I push myself harder. I wake up each morning thinking to myself, ‘I will swim harder and better than yesterday. I will come in First place.'

Many great people have been faced with failure and made great names for them. Albert Einstein was the most brilliant physicist in his time. But growing up, he had dyslexia. He couldn’t read or write the simplest of words. It was doubtful that he would be able to graduate. But he didn’t let that stop him. He found a way around it, to forge a path forward. And he did.

Life is filled with both success and failure. If you are weighted down with all your defeats, you will not succeed. Accept your failures and make them your own. Use them to make yourself better. Robert Pirsig talks about what a quality life is. His idea of the Quality Life is standing on the void of the unknown and reaching out into the emptiness to push forward. To me, a quality life is one that is build from the bottom up: starting with the lowest defeats and building to the top. At the moment of defeat, you are able to get back up and achieve great things. I believe that persistence is the best policy.

- Fasi

I believe that music makes a great impact on the human mind. Have you ever listened to a song and find yourself tapping your foot or whistling the melody five minutes after hearing it? Have you ever fallen asleep with the light cadences of a piano? With every measure from an opera, with every trill I hear in a ballet, my mind creates images that affect the way I’m feeling.

Music could be a source of relaxation or concentration. When I get home from school everyday, I plop down on my Clavinova and I begin to play songs off the top of the mind that are so relaxing, as I run my fingers across the keys. It could be a song that I just learned or a piece that is still too difficult to play smoothly. The calm music on the piano is a wonderful sound to my ears after a long day. Hearing the song energizes me and feeds me power to keep playing more—almost like a drug. I listen to my mp3 player when I do my homework or if I’m studying in the quiet library. I’m able to change the genre of the music that I listen to according to my mood or according to how I want to feel.

Music could make people want to dance, cook, move, breathe, run… or perhaps, love? Music could move someone to fall in love with a person. When a slow song is played, one may think of their significant other or feel sad because of a recent break-up or tear because of the pure beauty and quality of a piece. Listening to up-beat alternative or hip-hop music could drive one crazy or get the blood circulating for another before a morning run. Rhythm and Blues and jazz music could turn a school gym into an exotic or romantic atmosphere.

There may be silence; however, music being nonexistent is unthinkable, unheard of. Silence is a different kind of music and can also affect the way one feels—perhaps lonely, empty. The deaf can feel the keys of a piano or feel the vibrations in a room. Although they aren’t able to actually hear the melodies and harmonies, they may sense or feel different in ways that others may not. Infants react to the different birds chirping or the different tunes that their toys make.

It is the sounds of Mother Nature, the beat of a drum, the stomping on Earth, the hum of a choir, the arpeggio on a grand piano, or the strum of an ukulele that can affect us both mentally and physically. I believe that every human is somehow moved by music each and every day.

- Tiana

I believe in the Golden Rule. I believe you should do to others what you would want them to do to you. I believe you get what you ask for.

I believe that if you treat other with respect, they will treat you the same. If you do good things in your life and make an effort to keep doing good things, you will be rewarded in the end and good things will happen to you in return. The same thing happens if you choose to do bad things in your life, bad things in return will fall upon you.

If you make an effort to go beyond what is required from you, you will be paid back somehow in return. Say you make an effort to recycle your cans and paper; you get the good feeling of knowing that you are helping your environment last longer and be useful father into the future. If you decided to go a step further and organize a huge campaign to save the earth, you could receive a humanitarian award.

I believe this because it makes me a little mad when people are inconsiderate to others and don’t think of anyone’s feeling other than their own. But I know that in the end they will get what is coming to them.

I also believe in making your own luck. It is just as bad to sit around and wait for good things to happen to you, then to go around and do bad things with no thought to the consequences. You should work at least a little bit to create you own luck and improve your own life, and not just wait around waiting for good things to come when you don’t deserve them.

That little bit of hope that our actions will be rewarded in the future gets us strive to do the right thing knowing that our hard work will pay off.

- Lauren

I believe in the power of making mistakes and accepting them. Humans need to make mistakes so that we can learn and improve. They are necessary for us to grow and develop. We can not be flawless, but every mistake we improve helps us get a little closer to that goal of perfection. As long as we are able to admit that we were wrong and focus on making it right, mistakes are quite useful.

Babies make countless errors everyday. Why? Because they do not have much knowledge about the world around them so they learn by exploring. Through these explorations they discover things that they should do and things that they should not do. From mistakes they learn what is good and what is bad.

While mistakes may seem like something horrible in the beginning, you will realize that in the long run they can actually help you. Once you make a mistake and you learn what caused that mistake, you can try and prevent it from happening again in the future. Even simple mistakes, like careless errors, can make you more alert and careful the next time you do things.

Sometimes, we are embarrassed or ashamed to admit that we committed a mistake. This is never good because if we do not admit that we are wrong, we will never make an effort to improve. For the rest of our lives, we will continue to make the same mistakes over and over again. We would gain nothing from this.

Mistakes are part of every day life and are necessary for human survival. Instead of running away from them when we encounter one, we should face it and overcome it. Understanding this concept and doing it allows us to become stronger and wiser.

- Fanny

I believe in always giving your best. Everyone should always do their best in everything they do and give it their all. I believe this because I think that the more we put into something then the more we will get out of it. This ties into success, because the harder people try and the more work they put into something leads them to getting better at what they are trying to do, and becoming more successful.

Also, there is a self satisfaction in knowing that you did your best and gave it your all. It is always good to do your best so that you will never have to live with regrets about not trying hard enough or not living up to what you could have been.

An example about giving your best is in basketball. During practice we have to do many drills and it is easy to slack off, and take the easy way off while the coach isn’t watching. I have learned that if we slack off or take the shortcuts then we are only hurting ourselves. The best thing to do is to give your best and not cut yourself short, because you are only hurting yourself if you do it.

I think that each individual decides how much they want to get out of an experience by how much effort they put into it. It is so important to always do your best so that we don’t miss out on experiences and opportunities.

- Megan

I believe in the power of curiosity. Being curious is essential for personal devlopment and maturity. For example, if teenagers become curious about what happens around them, they will begin to explore new areas and discover ideas that may prove helpful in the long-run. It's this sense of curiosity that we really need to cultivate in our school life. Young people like us require a passion for learning, a willingness to try a different sport or service activity, or an openness to create new attitudes in dealing with classmates.

This leads to a related concept I also embrace: calculated risk-taking. Taking risks that are frightening or discomforting accelerates mental acuity. Anything that piques our curiosity demands a certain degree of exploration that likely will be beneficial to our well-being.

If, for example, you are in a class that's lame it's too boring to also just sit and stare at the clock, secure in your silence. Taking the easy way out generally is no fun. It rarely is. People who are afraid to take risks are intimidated by the possibility of negative consequences. In my own case, I was always unbearingly shy when it came to volunteering in English class. I was not even curious about what, if anything, my ideas might contribute to class discussions. But one day, I decided to say something during a discussion rather than risk feeling ignored or put down. It felt good to express myself--all because I decided to disrupt my complacency.

So in the end, being curious about anything, anything at all, can provide the necessary fuel to ignite one's passion for learning. Even something as small as speaking up in class can skewer any doubt and accelerate the first steps along the journey to adulthood, a road that beckons to us all.

- Charles

I believe in the power of family. Through the bad and the good, family is the most dependable thing someone can have. A person’s family can support that person in their worst times. Whether it’s just a hug or paying for an operation needed, families will do anything within their own power to help.

When someone says the word “family,” what do people usually think? A normal family consists of a person, their siblings, parents, grandparents, significant others, and children. To some people a family could be a countless number of people. A family is a group of people that care about you. It doesn’t only have to be blood related people. I believe that anyone can be your family. A best friend or a teacher could easily be considered part of your family. People may or may not realize it, but they are surrounded by love and the care of others.

The majority of people living all have families, but there are those few who don’t have anyone. There are even a bunch of people who go through their whole lives not knowing what a true family is. They may live in different areas then us and have different lives, but the truth is they will never truly feel the warmth of a loving family. Many people take the love of our family for granted. Others may give anything just to have one. It’s sad when it comes to being alone. Having to go to bed knowing that you’re all alone in this world is enough to drive someone into extreme despair. With a family, you will never be alone and will heal whatever suffering you may have.

Like some of the things already listed, family can provide safety, encouragement, loyalty, acceptance, and love. A life with an affectionate family can make a real difference on someone’s life. Repaying them is simple. All you have to do is love and care for them back. Families grow and become strong and last for all eternity. All you have to do is care.

- Eric

I believe in freedom. I think that freedom can help a person accept who they are by letting that person express themselves in ways suitable to them, giving them self-confidence. If a person is taken away their freedom, then their confidence can be broken.

With freedom, people can express their feelings, their thoughts about a situation, and in essence, express themselves. Some people do this through song. Others gain freedom through sports, writing, or art. For me, I like to write from my imagination. Through this, I gain freedom and self-confidence of my imagination and myself.

Although many people believe that freedom is generally physical, such as freedom from jail or maybe slavery, I believe that it is more spiritual. The physical aspect of freedom may help the spiritual and psychological aspect of freedom, I’m sure. But ultimately, freedom is made of thoughts and spiritual participation.

I believe that any and every person can achieve and find freedom. It may be hard to find, but people will find freedom for themselves someday or another. Even if this freedom is not fully attainable, if a person can just find a small part of freedom, and are able to express themselves just a small bit, then that person has found enough freedom to satisfy their current situation and encourage them to find other ways of expressing themselves and gaining freedom in other ways than one.


I believe in being original and that being copied is lame. I don’t want to write something that's already been written or do something that I've already seen done. I like to be the first person to do something in my group of friends.

Copying is the highest form of flattery. Whoever said that has never been copied before. They were the type of people that copied other people. Everyone has been copied at one time or another and knows how irritating it is. Let's say you were the first person in the world to do a handstand and you wanted everyone to see. Would you want the first person you show to say, "Wow, that's great. You are the greatest person in the world and I want to be just like you." Then they go and do the handstand and show everyone before you get the chance. I don’t think anyone would like that and consider it to be flattery. I'm sure it would be upsetting and you'd probably want to go do something to the guy that went and copied you.

Being original is also financially good. If you’re the first person to invent something that everyone wants, you make lots of money. But, if someone steals your idea, then you make nothing. Nobody wants their idea to be stolen and have the thief make lots of money while your making nothing off of your great idea. It would be depressing and would be extremely unfair.

But, everyone copies people, which makes me a hypocrite. I admit that I've copied people before but I don’t care. Everyone is a hypocrite.

- Nainoa

I believe in the power of hard work. The more that you put into something, whether its time or intensity, the more you will get out. I believe that the longer you work at something the better you will get at it.

An example of this is the sports we play. The more you practice, the better you have to get at what you are practicing. In swimming my coach explains that all the hard work we do is going into a bank, and that when its time to check out you will have the same amount as that you put in. Another words if you don’t practice hard, or don’t come to practice you will never get better, and if you do practice hard, your effort will show.

Not only as a kid but also now, my parents still tell me that the more you study for a test, the better you will do. We all know what it feels like knowing that we have not studied for the test and so we got a bad grade. We also know what its like to study hard for a test and then do great on it. This proves how the more you put into something the more you will get out.

English teachers always say that the more times you edit and review a paper, the better it will become. This is completely true, and shows how the more time you spend on anything the better you will do.

- Ruddy

I believe that visual thinking, learning and experience are important to me. By learning I don’t mean just going to class in a classroom. My education began at a very early age, primarily from my experience and observations while playing with toys. This experience and observation prepared me for learning in a classroom. Today, this is one of the best ways I learn.

As a kid, I gained a lot of experience and understanding of science, physics, and mechanics from my toys. My wooden TC Timber train sets would occupy me for hours, showing me the repelling and attracting nature of magnetic couplings on the trains. This was probably what started my fascination with science. When I was in kindergarten I was able to make three-dimensional construction paper cars. I got this spatial thinking from earlier experience.

Today, my primary interest is working on robotics and computers. I am working on the computer-aided design (CAD) to document the 3d plans for Punahou’s FIRST competition robot. Just like when I was a kid, I can visualize in my mind how things fit and work together. It was interesting to realize when watching other kids struggle to draw plans that they are not able to think and visualize in the same way I can.

Last year I stayed up late and listened to a Charlie Rose show about Charles Darwin. James D. Watson, one of the co-discoverers of the structure of DNA said that, “…If you say that truth comes from observation and experience, not from revelation, which was the way I was raised, then Darwin was the first person using observation and experience to really put man in his place in the world.”

I hope that using my visual thinking, learning and experience will assist me in making discoveries during my life.

- Dee