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This I Believe - Episode 14

Lisa Dobrowolsky
Lisa Dobrowolsky is a ninth grader at Guilderland High School. She runs cross country and plays the trumpet. Lisa enjoys shopping and traveling to new places.

Gaining Independence

By Lisa Dobrowolsky

I believe that people should have the ability to be independent. This is a necessary life skill that seems to have gotten lost as time progresses. More and more, people have other things to constantly rely on, so that they are not able to get things done themselves. Things like being able
to ask someone else to do all your homework questions that you’re too lazy to do, or now, even asking your iPhone questions can show a lack
of independence.

The first time I really remember that strong feeling of independence I
was just a little kid, probably around three years old. I was visiting my grandparents with my family and some other relatives. We had gone outside to look at something, and we were on our way back inside the house. When we approached the front steps, I was suddenly picked up by one of my dad’s cousins and carried up the steps. I was so angry
that he did that! I really wanted to walk up the steps by myself, to show that I was a big kid. For me, being able to climb the stairs was like being able to climb Mt. Everest. I did not need anyone to carry me or help me. I was so young, but this is one of my clearest first memories. I had gained my independence at that age, and there was no stopping my desire to be independent from then on.

The quality of independence can earn one more confidence. If I know I have been able to do things on my own in the past, then I will be assured in myself, and my abilities to get things done. Independence can give me the courage to keep trying. Sometimes the only thing I have to rely on is myself. Lazy people can get help from somebody on all the homework assignments, but when it comes time for the test it’s just them and whatever knowledge they have-which is very little because they never tried to be independent. A person who constantly depends on others isn’t doing herself justice. People can have the independence to try things on their own, and believe in their abilities. I’ve learned to just trust myself because the worst that can happen is that I didn’t do as well as I had hoped, but I have still learned something about myself.

This year was my first year running cross country. When I was trying my absolute best in races, there was no one else there. I could not depend on anyone to get me across the finish line but myself. It was all up to me to do my best, to race, to succeed. Finishing a race, and knowing I gave it all I had gives me a huge boost of self-confidence. I feel like I am strong, and I can count on myself to be independent. Every day at practice it is up to me to work hard to get better. Sure, my coaches encourage me, but the person who wants me to work the hardest is me, because I am independent and I know when I can do better and push myself harder.

I get a good feeling from doing something all by myself, and seeing my success. When I cross the finish line of a race, it’s not about winning or losing, but accomplishing something on my own. I believe in being independent, because there is not always going to be someone there to carry you up the steps.


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