At the beginning of my sophomore year of high school, my English teacher, who would eventually become a mentor to me, presented our class with our first formal assignment of the year. We were to write an essay about which word we believed to be the most powerful out of all of the words in the English language. My brain, like many of my classmate's, was still fogged by a summer haze, and was no match for such a thought-inducing question. Consequently, I, as many others, decided to take the path most traveled and attempted to write my essay about "love". Despite my best efforts, I just couldn't seem to find the substance behind a word that has so many various meanings based upon individual context without sounding cliche. At least not enough substance to deem "love" a word more powerful than any other. After a large amount of careful deliberation, and possibly one too many cups of coffee, I landed on the word that gives all other words in the English language meaning: perspective.

Perspective is often overlooked, but is an incredibly important concept to understand. It is what gives words meaning and people individuality. Each individual's experiences shape their character and mold their outlook on life. With every adverse circumstance a person faces, they are presented with two perspectives from which to view the situation. While many will choose to respond to adversity with negativity, some are able to see difficult situations in a more positive light. Those select few who choose to keep moving forward through the bad times with a positive perspective will find that each day their life will become more enriched and the reflection of their alacrity will radiate in the lives of those around them.

I have experienced the relevance of perspective first hand. The year that I wrote that essay stressing the importance and power behind perspective was the same year that would eventually become the most difficult of my life to date, though I did not know that at the time. I had no idea that I would lose most of my friends, transfer schools twice, watch my parent's go through a heartbreaking divorce, and develop depression all within five months of writing that essay. I also had no clue that I would be introduced to the sweetest (and handsome) guy that I have ever met, or that I would be supported by a few amazing friends who stuck by my side through it all. There are two different perspectives through which I could remember the year 2013, and I choose to accept the negative circumstances and be thankful for the positive.

Three years ago, I deemed "perspective" to be the most powerful word in the English language and through 1,095 dynamic days and an abundance of distressing circumstances, I still believe that to be true. Abraham Lincoln once said, "We can complain because rose bushes have thorns, or rejoice because thorn bushes have roses." I choose to find the beauty in each uncertain day, to see the delicate rose through all of the burdensome thorns. I choose a positive perspective and a more fulfilling lifestyle, and I hope that you will too.