This I Believe

Jeremy - Brevard, North Carolina
Entered on October 2, 2006
Age Group: 18 - 30

I believe in the power of sacrifice. It involves simply going from the most common pronouns used today- me to you. As I write this statement, I must confess that it is challenging writing about me for the sole purpose of someone else. I can remember growing up and being an only child, I directed all the attention to myself. I didn’t care about sharing with brothers and sisters because you see, I didn’t have to. As a selfish little boy, when the trees began to shed their clothes and the mountains became covered in white, Christmas was on my mind. I enjoyed seeing presents stacked to the ceiling in various rooms which created a joy and excitement of knowing that they were for me. I wanted them all, even the ones that didn’t have my name on them. Anytime there were leftovers from grandmother’s famous Chocolate Bavarian Pecan Cake or any food for that matter, I somehow managed to get the last slice without ever feeling sorry that I did. Not understanding that value of “you”, “I” was always on my mind. Within the confines of my mind, I thought that it was my parents’ duty to give me any and everything I asked for without ever thinking about the consequences. Not realizing its long-lasting effects, this illusion of self-serving attached to me like a leech, removing the compassion that I longed to share for other individuals.

In later years, I understood the message my parents, mainly my mother, tried to infuse in me. My mother showed me the sacrifices she made for me to live a good life; the best way she knew how. It just didn’t make sense to me at first. How can someone lose and at the same time gain? How can I still give my last material possession, yet still possess love, peace and happiness? How can I die and yet live again? How could that be? I wrestled with this for quite sometime. Throughout life’s experiences I became familiar with this way of living. I finally understood that in order to have what you need, you have to lose what you want. This revolutionized my attitude and my motives for giving. I couldn’t look to always receive when I gave anymore, whether it was my time, efforts or material possessions. When I gave, I felt a joy that couldn’t be calculated. No one could see inside of me; therefore, I realized that I had to show it. Wanting what is best for the other person at whatever the cost to ourselves is true sacrifice and in this I believe.