This I Believe

Caroline - Wesley Chapel, Florida
Entered on December 7, 2006

I listen to NPR and make my way to Barnes and Nobles. Today has been an especially tedious day at work. The daily one hour walk to the book store forcibly helps me to keep my weight in check as the holiday season grins its way in.

Listening to NPR and reading at the book store, are habits I have chosen to embrace because I am hoping that as my intellect is stirred to life each day, it will in turn pull my spirit ashore and keep it from drowning in sorry feelings. Because, I tell myself, I have no room for self pity.

I want to believe that there is more to life than pimples at 31 and a sister prettier than me. I want to believe that there is more to life than wishing I was born an American; certainly more than scrubbing floors and washing dirt from other people’s lives.

Yet these are the edges that nudge me on to my true belief that the “more to life” comes from making another person’s life worth their living.

So I find my “more” by rushing to western union after each pay day, to ensure through my countable dollars, that a child in rural Kenya goes to school. I find it by dropping groceries at a food bank, and baking for strangers. And the more I do these, the more I want to do more.

Then it strikes me, what would the world be like if there were more give-a-holics, and not just for the holidays?

When people ask, “aren’t there more needy people in your country, why don’t you go back and help there?” My answer (mostly to myself) is that need has no geographical bounds. When people leave their havens to go help my country I don’t ask why; because a human in need is a human in need and where they are in the world does not change that.

It therefore is not important to me whom I help and where they are, but rather that I have that opportunity to help when and where I can.

I believe that there is more to life in giving. I also realize, as I mop floors and dust window ledges and base boards, that it did not take my graduate degree to figure this out.