This I Believe

Kaitlin - Whitefish, Montana
Entered on November 30, 2006
Age Group: Under 18

I Believe in Reaching Out to Others

From a family of overflowing love, I have always been nurtured. The sturdy bond between every family member is a characteristic I cherish. It comes from the simple act of caring and following the Golden Rule. “Treat others as would like to be treated” was drilled into my head at such a young age, and is a lesson I use from day to day.

Ever since I can remember, the Golden Rule was something to abide by among my family. I believe it mainly came from having such a strong religious background. Not only my parents, but also my brothers and friends, have taught me everything there is to know about equality and respect for others.

Every summer, for the past four years, I have joined my church on youth mission trips. This last summer I went with an entirely different group of people than I had previously, but had a just as memorable of an experience. We traveled to New Orleans, Louisiana to help with the Hurricane Katrina relief group and our job was to clean out houses that hadn’t been opened since the hurricane. As I entered the first untouched home, the idea of caring and reaching to others really kicked in. The unforgettable stench filled my lungs in an instant. I wanted so badly to complain, but I knew if this were my own home that would be the last thought crossing my mind. The waterline, marking nearly two feet above my head, stained the wall-papered walls. Every piece of furniture was clearly out of place; kitchen utensils, pictures, and clothing filled the hallways. I couldn’t imagine the difficulty and the pain of walking into my own house after such destruction. As I cleared out the house, I gave the owners the respect they deserved and handled everything delicately.

The memories made on each trip are never left in the city; I bring them into my everyday life. I continue to reach out people within my community. Many times at school, I see an individual dragging their feet with their head hanging low- clears signs of a bad day. As my Christian role kicks in, I usually smile or begin a simple conversation for them to realize that someone in this world is blessed for their presence.

Several moments in my life are spent thinking about or listening to God’s words. I frequently discover myself off in my own world finding ways to be more of what God intends me to be. Often times he reaches out to me in discrete ways I that I am very thankful for. Ways, such as, providing me with an unbelievable best friend who has parallel beliefs as me. Growing up within the same church, we have learned from each other tremendously. In many ways, without her, I wouldn’t be the person I am today.

She is constantly reminding me of my wrong-doings and pointing me within the right direction -similar attributes that I find from God himself. She knows I will be by her side every step of the way, and she the same with me. I’m a sensitive and understanding person who has and always will have my arms stretched out to others.

I believe that reaching out to others will bring out a better side of life. I enjoy the warm feeling I get when I know I have impacted an individual by dribbling the slightest bit of faith into their heart. It may be difficult, at times, to be a judgeless and carefree person, but as Philippians 4:13 states, “I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength”.