This I Believe

Carina - Overland Park, Kansas
Entered on September 15, 2006

I believe that a universal kindness exists. Within every being is a sense of responsibility towards the rest of humanity. Witnessing the selflessness of others not only confirms my beliefs by provides inspiration.

I was in Hong Kong the day the devastating tsunami hit Asia and observed the great acts of charity and compassion that followed. Numerous donation boxes were placed on every busy street corner, accompanied by volunteers that had organized the effort. I remember their smiles of thanks, despite their obvious exhaustion from having been awake too many hours. I had a family friend who was vacationing in India at the time and when she safely returned to Hong Kong, she detailed the experience for me. She told me of the obvious sense of loss, bewilderment, and fear the locals were feeling. Their homes, businesses, lives, were swept away in the furry of the tsunami. Everything they had ever known and worked for was taken away in an instant. They were unsure of what was to come ahead. Would they be able to put their lives back together? But she also told me of the determination of the volunteers that came to side of those in need. They served as an anchor in the chaos – patiently sorting through the confusion. These outsiders’ quick response spoke louder than any action in eliminating cultural tensions. Regardless, not all acts of this consideration need to be on such a large scale. Giving blood at a local blood drive, or even dropping change into a homeless person’s cup is potentially saving the lives of complete strangers – if only to a small extent.

Have I myself participated in such acts? Certainly. I have done my part in community service and will continue to do so. Whether it involves volunteering at children’s summer camps or food kitchens, it gives me such satisfaction to know that I could have made a positive impact on another human being is the greatest reward. But I would rather explore the great acts of kindness of others. It gives me the faith to believe in humanity’s power for justice. Everyone is created equal – the hardships one person suffers through could easily be mine, and I feel at ease knowing I can rely on this universal kindness to receive the same aid.

Observing this constructive interaction between societies is reassuring. Although, varying circumstances can hinder this quality in some people, I choose not to dwell on this aspect. I have always been under the impression that there is good in every person, and have allowed this belief to develop my sense of thinking. It is within this goodwill that citizens of the world can connect with each other and discover their strength for the future – this is what I believe.