I Believe in the Beauty of Life

Mechanical Engineering
1st year
Tallahassee, Florida
Michael Braun

I believe in the beauty of the human life. I believe we are all, every one of us, fearfully and wonderfully made. I believe Man is alive for a reason, I believe there is a purpose to serve and a goal to accomplish.

My senior year of high school was a time of intense change in my life. I had made a decision, after lengthy consideration, to graduate early and leave the comfort of my home and daily routine for the rigors and trials of college. While this decision is made by thousands of teens every year, in my sphere of influence I saw myself as special. While others would remain firmly entrenched in a life of leisure, I had made the choice to leave my family and those I loved for a chance at greatness. The date of my departure began to loom imposing like a distant storm. I now, in a sense, had a deadline.

Nearly five miles away, a mother stood crying inside her room, shut behind her door. Her daughter too had been given a deadline. She had cancer, malignant and invasive, which the doctors could do nothing to fix.

By the time I left for Georgia Tech, this young woman would be dead.

I first heard about this young woman’s situation at a football practice, huddled together with my teammates. Our coach told us her story with a somber face. Before learning of her illness, I had not known the girl, and still afterward only met her a few brief times, to bring her flowers and ask her to homecoming with my other senior teammates. There was beauty in the way our school rallied around her, providing support to her family in this time of desperation, but at the time I couldn't see it. The parallels between our situations had a profound effect on me, and I learned a few things I am not going to soon forget. I learned about the nature of life and fragility of it. I learned that these glorious plans I was making meant so little compared to the basic value of the life I have been given.

Perhaps many of you are wondering how this bleak story reconciles with my belief in the purpose of life. This girl has, I am glad to say, outlived her deadline and is doing well for her condition. In the face of death, she has taught me what it truly means to love life. And when this brave, scared, fun-loving girl does pass, hopefully years and years from now, I refuse to believe that her life was in vain. I refuse to believe there will be no one waiting for her, waiting for all of us. I refuse to believe that the greatest gift we have been given is purposeless.

I believe in the beauty of the human life. I am shown this beauty everyday by those close to me. Please, keep this girl in your hearts and in your prayers.