This I Believe

Holly - Whitefish, Montana
Entered on April 26, 2006
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: Christianity

The Photo

I believe in action to help humanity. I am a junior in high school. This causes me to deal with the daily drama that everyone has, is, or will go through. On a regular basis I deal with drug addicting teens, incompetent teachers, and over protective parents. My fellow students and I are classified, labeled, nicknamed and relabeled. Depending on whom you ask and when you ask I could be a dorky honors student, a crazy way-to-passionate cross country runner, a total drama junkie, or one of those weird religious kids. It’s the last two of these that concern the matter at hand.

I am a devout Christian and actively participate in my church. This involvement, my church going friends, and the more selfish reason of wanting community service hours were what drove me to sign up for a mission trip to Vancouver, Canada. This journey was the most eye opening experience of my life. I walked on poverty stricken streets; meeting some of the most fun and considerate people I have every known. Many of these people just had unfortunate events occur in their life, which caused them to become homeless.

After returning to my middle-upper class community I was forced to deal with a serious case of shell shock. Over the week in Vancouver I had forgotten how self-concerned and ungrateful people could be. Passing people on the street or talking with my peers caused me to hear a font of complaints about hunger or tiredness or even the occasional evil employer. I was distraught. I had spent time with people whose next meal was the next soup kitchen, slept on sidewalks and would have been grateful for any job with any boss, and heard less complaining about life. As the months went by I became numb to the constant prattle.

Then I went through a relapse.

As and active member in my schools drama club I can often be found on Sunday afternoons ushering for the local theatre. It was there that I was gazing at photos from around the world with tow of my dramatic, eclectic, vivid, friends. One photo in particular depicted an unusual scene. On the bottom half a high-class resort with sunbathers shone in vibrant colors. A tall hedge cut the picture in half. The top showed poverty-raked shacks in a murky hopeless palette. My friends upon seeing this photo sighed, tsked, and exclaimed “so true…”

Their response triggered a remarkable emotion. Could people really stand there and comment about the suffering there is in the world in such a nonchalant manner? My quick tongue was shut firmly behind bitten lips, but my heart I felt fear. Is this how my generation is going to deal with major humanitarian issues, by commenting on them and shaking their head? Use the energy it took to comment to call a charity or foundation and see what can be done. Many groups or organizations say the first step in fixing a problem is awareness. World, you are aware! Now, on to the next step, use that concern and become active. There are so many ways to help mankind. Find a way you enjoy and do it. Without concern and action our world will suffer. This I believe.