Ralph Waldo Emerson once said, “For every minute you are angry you lose 60 seconds of happiness.” When I first heard this in fourth grade by my teacher I didn’t think much of this quote. At the time, it was just another quote by some dead guy. That was before Maddie Potts. And freshman year. And the soccer season.
It was Friday, September 21st, 2017. Just a normal Friday with a soccer game after school against a rival team, Chariho. I was excited to play because I loved soccer. Both teams came to the middle to say good luck and to read the sportsmanship card. That’s when I first saw her, number 11. Her name was Maddie Potts. She was beautiful, I had thought, then I saw her play. She was the senior captain, and boy, she had deserved the title. She was amazing. Little did I know that two days later, on September 23rd, she would tragically die playing soccer.
I couldn’t believe the news. I couldn’t accept the fact that she died partly because she was perfectly fine when I saw her, and that it could have been me. She died of an unpredictable brain aneurysm. The following Monday that she had died, they held a vigil for her at Chariho High School. I and the team had gone along with countless others to show our support for their community. There, they played a slideshow of Maddie and her friends when a thought hit me on the head like a brick. This girl was just like me. She had many friends, loved soccer, and the arts. She was well respected and had a sister and two parents. The thought caused me to sob. That’s when the shocking revelation had come to me: I have to embrace life and always make the best of the situation. I have to live with happiness and be slow to anger.
As I stood with the rest of the team I looked up to see that they were all crying too. I comforted my friend Jenna as we both sobbed. Everyone there was empathetic. I felt the same pain that Jenna was feeling , and that Maddie’s teammates were, and everyone else who was there. Then I lit my candle along with everyone else. Her best friends had spoken about her kindness and her good nature and how good of a person that she was. I had stopped crying and then they turned our attention to her mom. She didn’t cry and it made me confused. Why wasn’t she crying? Isn’t she sad? Yes, she is sad. But with the sad, there is a shock. The shock that her daughter so full of life had been taken away from her.. I sobbed again and once again thought of my revelation: I have to embrace life and always make the best of the situation. I have to live with happiness and be slow to anger.
“For every minute you are angry, you lose sixty seconds of happiness.” This quote took on a whole new meaning to me after that vigil. To be surrounded my mourners caused me to reflect on my life and how I was living. Since then I have been happier and embracing life. Living not just existing.
THIS I BELIEVE: I have to embrace life and make the best of the situation. I have to live with happiness and be slow to anger.