This I Believe

Paul - Grand Rapids, Michigan
Entered on December 8, 2006
Age Group: 18 - 30

Self Sacrifice

It seems that everywhere I look I see people in need. These needs are big and small. I can only think that I must help these people. I believe that I must sacrifice my own wants and desires to aid others who are in need. I came to this conclusion through my religion, Christianity. Because a central component to my faith is that Jesus Christ sacrificed his entire life to save me from my sins, I need to make sacrifices to help other people if I am to live in a Christ-like manner.

I know that even the little sacrifices that I make can have a big impact on others. For example, I stopped working on a paper for fifteen minutes to help my friend with his calculus homework. He had an assignment due the next day for which his teacher did not fully explain the material. Because I have already taken calculus I decided to step away from my paper that was due the next day to see if I could help him. After looking over his assignment I was able to explain to him how to do the problems. Sure, by leaving my paper for fifteen minutes I ended up adding fifteen minutes to when I was going to finish my paper, which ultimately took away from my already deprived sleep time, but had I not helped my friend, he would not have been able to finish his homework and his calculus grade would have dropped.

There are also more serious ways in which I can make sacrifices to help people, especially in regards to money. Last Christmas Season I brought all of my spare change to the bank and exchanged it for cash. I received close to ninety dollars in cash from the change that I turned in. I could have used that money for many different things such as using it to cover my Christmas expenses or saving it, because I was soon to become a poor college student. However, I knew that there was a much better way for me to use that money. On Christmas Eve I placed it in the church offertory because the money collected that night went straight to various charities.

I am also striving to make larger sacrifices in my life to benefit others. Twice I have gone with my church’s youth group on mission trips, once to an Indian reservation in Montana, and once to a rural Mexican town. While in both instances I took a week out of my summer to go help others, I feel I can do more. I want get to a point in my life where I am comfortable going abroad to help others for extended periods of time and giving sums of money to charity that are far larger than ten dollars because the only way I can improve the situation of people in need is if I make sacrifices.