This I Believe

Alexandria - Iola, Wisconsin
Entered on December 8, 2006
Age Group: Under 18

Alex Berg

15 years old

Iola-Scandinavia High School

Composition 1

This I Believe

429

Opening Your Eyes

There are tons of people out in the world who don’t have homes to go to, or a job to pay for enough food in a week. People should be thankful for what they have and the things that are just handed to them. They should and not take things for granted. This I believe.

I use to think that most people have families, clothes, food, and a house, but I was wrong. All it took for me realize that was one mission trip to Los Angeles with my church.

It was my first mission trip every, and I was excited. I had no clue what I was getting myself into. I got to work in a Salvation Army place, where kids came during the day to hang out. There were a wide variety of rooms where anyone could find something to do and have fun. There was a gym, dance, arts and crafts, games/arcades, and computer. I thought that the kids had it made. Then I thought again about why they are even going there. Was it because they didn’t really have a home to go to, or wasn’t there family home to watch them? I wasn’t sure. I tried to do everything I could to put a smile on their faces and make them happy. It was so hard to leave them all.

I had a chance to work in a soup kitchen as well. We served food in a building where some homeless were allowed to come. It amazed me how so many people were very picky and wouldn’t eat some of the food. Some people only wanted two things on their tray. I figured that if I were homeless and given the chance to eat I wouldn’t take that for granted. I would be thankful that I’m getting fed.

In L.A., we were able to go and see skid-row, that is 3 blocks filled with homeless people. I saw people sleeping on benches, and on the ground with only a paper bag or a small blanket to cover them. They all wore ragged clothing and walked around with all of their possessions in one shopping cart. That’s how much they had. There were signs in certain areas that said, “ No sitting or sleeping here at any time.” It was really shocking and I never thought that there were people who actually lived like that.

This experience opened my eyes and let me realize how lucky I am. I’m thankful for that and I’m not going to take it for granted. This I believe.