This I Believe
I believe in a universal love.
It’s a love understood by everyone. It doesn’t lead to physical attraction or jealousy. It’s more like a brotherly love. It’s your willingness to do something good for no particular reason. It’s a love triggered when someone is hurt, and you hate to see them in that state. One would say it is sympathy. I say it’s a love with compassion.
I am a curious kind of person. I like to listen and give my complete attention when someone speaks, mainly because I would have them do the same. I like to observe people; their behaviors, how they socialize, and what make them unique. I find that many people conceal their problems by pretending to be what they aren’t. They’ll do the craziest things to be known, to be accepted, to belong. Whatever they do narrows down to one thing, wanting to be loved.
Two years ago, a teacher asked a girl after class how she was doing and she completely broke down. I was still in the room and my heart just went out to her. I hear a lot of emotional conversations about break-ups, family crisis, etc. These things tend to be part of our daily lives, especially for teenagers. They may be the simplest things, but there’s an urge in me to help the person experiencing this and get them out of that state. Humans aren’t mean to be sad. We are to enjoy life. We make it hard on ourselves sometimes by looking for pleasure in the wrong places.
This love sometimes blends with our jobs. It’s shown as a teacher stays an extra hour after school just to help a student understand a math problem. It’s shown as a lifeguard rescues a child drowning in a swimming pool. It was shown as the firefighters risked their health and lives going back into the twin towers on September 11th to make sure all those still breathing were rescued.
I would guess that I got this love from my mom. My family lived in a refugee camp in Kenya with my cousins before we came to the United States. My dad and my cousins’ dad were in Uganda at the time. My aunt died there, leaving my cousins parentless. My mom immediately took her sister’s children in and she’s been taking care of all of us since. Right now, my cousins are grown and independent, but they still come to my mom for comfort. Our dads aren’t here with us, so my mom has to work two jobs just to pay the bills for our apartment and provide for our needs. On top of that, she volunteers to help refugee kids around Memphis with tutoring and help their moms with the English language.
And that inspires me to pour my heart to people around me. We are a community of one and we need to help each other. And it starts with a “hello” as you pass by someone on your way to the store.
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