This I Believe

Kenneth - Knoxville, Tennessee
Entered on May 1, 2006
Age Group: 18 - 30

During my fall semester of my sophomore year of high school I made a new friend. Being on the scrawny side of things, I enrolled in the weight training class my school had to offer. I figured I could end up being someone’s prey but I had ever intention of standing up and defending myself to any bully.

The last time I talked to Greg we passed by in the hallway at school. We passed the casual, “Hey man, what’s up, how’s it going?” If I had known it would have been our last conversation, I would have said so much more.

It was a car wreck. Greg was turning out of a neighborhood after bringing a friend home after school when his car stalled in the intersection. The other car was coming around a curve too fast and didn’t have enough time to react… they say it was painless. I sure hope so.

Inevitably, the day came where an upperclassmen took it upon himself to rag on me for something as trivial as my t-shirt. My brain was scrambling for the words to belittle him, so when I noticed he was wearing sunglasses in the weight room I blurted, “Hey jackass, why are you wearing sunglasses? Can’t you tell that we’re inside?” At that point he and his friend started to approach me and I thought that maybe I should’ve let it pass. But suddenly a bear claw of a hand came from nowhere and pushed them back. It was Greg Palmer, an upperclassmen that I had previously assumed would beat my face in if I looked at him wrongly. As it turns out, he said “If you want to fight him, you have to fight me too.” They quickly returned to their workout and Greg and I introduced ourselves to each other and shook on a new friendship, obviously right after I thanked him for saving me from a beating though.

From this simple gesture I learned that you always should help others in need, no matter the size of the deed. In this I believe: No matter the situation, help out those in need.