This I believe: My introduction to you
Ask me who I am and I will give you an easy answer.
I am James Michael Ryan, 18, raised in Gaylord, Michigan. I have two loving parents and a pair of younger brothers. I like Detroit sports, golfing and ice cream. Someday I would like to become a nationally-respected journalist.
Ask me what I stand for and the response is not so easy.
I stand for what I believe is right. Although that stance may not make me the most popular or put me at the head of the ‘in crowd,’ I find myself to be well-liked among those who matter. My beliefs are dictated by my faith, upbringing and the subsequent moral compass that falls alongside.
Several years ago I stumbled across a quote from the great Muhammad Ali. “I run on the road long before I dance under the lights,” he said. Ever since, I have had that mantra pinned next to my bed, only to be questioned by every friend that visited my home, for I had no connection to either boxing or dancing, leaving them confused onto why it meant so much to me.
Through my eyes, its meaning is simple: you must work hard at something before attempting to reap its benefits. One cannot jump straight to ‘dancing under the lights,’ for they would be trounced by any individual that had put in his or her time ‘running on the road.’ In short, successful people do not become successful overnight.
This motto has translated to nearly every aspect of my life, directly or indirectly. Although my family values are of the utmost importance, living my life true to the saying — along with my faith — is enough to guide me.
I am a deep thinker. In itself, that makes for late nights and early mornings, lots of sweating and speculation aplenty. Sometimes it sets me apart, while in other instances it puts me back. In the end, I would have to believe overthinking is better than not thinking enough.
At heart, I believe that people are good. I come from what is generally known as a good town with a very charitable population. This likely plays a huge role in my beliefs, for I have seen innumerable acts of kindness throughout our small community.
On a more personal level, I have been fortunate enough to do great things with my life, by my standards. I believe that in many respects this is because people care about me. In return, the least I can do is give the same respect to others.
When it all boils down, I don’t ask for much in life. Provide for my basic liberties and throw some good karma my way every once in a while and I’ll be all set. A little love and support every now and then wouldn’t hurt either. Besides that, I believe it is up to each of us individually to make the most of our opportunities — nothing is given in this life.
There are plenty of roads leading up to the lights.