This I Believe

Ann - Austin, Texas
Entered on October 16, 2006
Age Group: 30 - 50

I believe in the power of service to others. In particular, I believe that the simple act of silent service to others can fill us with an inspired and uplifted spirit that rates as one of life’s natural highs. You experience this feeling in a small way whenever you allow someone to enter the freeway or go through the grocery store check out lane ahead of yourself. To witness others giving unselfishly of themselves can give rise to a sense of overwhelming awe and admiration.

I’ll never forget the day that I once again bailed my young son out of jail. He had been arrested four times in less than a year for drug charges and I was heartbroken that he had not yet turned 19 and seemed to have ruined his young brilliant life with seemingly no sense of loss or remorse. I cried, I screamed, I stared at the walls of my home and I got mad at every ineffectual public service announcement warning me to get involved in my sons life in order to keep him off drugs. Then I got up one morning and I went to get the county jailor to hand over my son to me so that I might “involve” him up to the rehab center his father and I had chosen. The mood between us during the trip was so somber that a funeral would have been a sight more festive. Little was said until he asked to borrow my cell phone. I was hesitant about letting him connect with his user friends and with a warning to that effect I handed it over. To my surprise he pulled a telephone number out of his pocket and began to call the employer of a young man that he had connected with in jail over the few days that he had been detained. He informed the employer that one of his employees was in jail and that he needed to be bailed out. The employer thanked my son and he handed to phone back to me. I asked my son why he had gone to this effort for a stranger and he told me that the guy in jail had no one on the outside that would do this for him. My son also said that if he did not help then the young man in jail would have to remain there even though he had the resources himself to be bailed . Whether this was true or not, my son believed that he needed to help someone else even though he got nothing out of it himself. I finished the trip enveloped in the awesome wonder and admiration of witnessing an agape act performed by my son. My troubled son…my imperfect hero.