This I Believe Prompt

While reviewing the essay The Power of Self-Preservation by Hugo Haas, I got an insight on Haas’s point of view on the world. He reflected on his experience when the Nazis took over, and how he lost some loved ones, effecting him in a negative way. He believes that above all of the bad situations one might be put in, one must never give up on himself or herself. “First of all, I learned to believe in the tremendous power of life itself and in the power of self-preservation.” He said he never gave up on himself, and he always had a drive to succeed. He expresses his views on the joy of creation, beauty present in all things, friendship eliminating loneliness, and love being the strongest element in life. 

In Bryce Courtenay’s The Power of One, the main character Peekay becomes determined and motivated early in life. Hoppie, one of Peekay’s mentors, teaches Peekay to always believe in himself. “I had hope. I had witnessed small triumph over big. I was not powerless.” (98) This motivation and hopefulness stays with Peekay and finally shows during a boxing match between Peekay and a boy much bigger than him. “They had to give me a go. I had to fight Kroon…I could take him, I knew I could take him.” (249) Peekay has faith that he will win, just like Haas was always motivated and never gave up. Haas says, “…I never lost the drive to go on, even in situations of hopelessness and despair,” meaning that no matter what the situation, Haas always strived to go on. Both of these characters never gave up on themselves, against all odds. Haas also says, “I believe in love…For love is the strongest element that in the final analysis, fulfils our life.” Peekay, in the end when he is leaving for a new school, realizes that love is what is going to help him carry on in his life. “In teaching me independence of thought, they had given me the greatest gift an adult can give to a child besides love, and they had given me that also.” (315) 

I can relate to this essay by Haas, because I once gave up and did not have faith in myself. Several years ago, I was trying out for a sports team and before even going into tryouts, thought I was not going to make it. I thought there were too many people, I would not stand out, and the coaches would not see anything special in me. I gave up because I thought that in this particular situation, I had no chance of making it. Unfortunately, I had to learn the hard way, for that year I did not make the team, and I realized afterwards that I had to believe in myself for me to perform well and succeed, helping me in the years to come. Like Haas, I believe that the key ingredient to success is motivation and having faith in yourself, no matter what

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