This I Believe

Govind - Marietta, Georgia
Entered on December 13, 2006
Age Group: Under 18

I was scared. I feared the unknown. I had faced situations similar to this, but nothing had prepared me adequately for this moment. I stood at the entrance of my new school, in a new country. I stood at the entrance of a new world. Would I get support in this new world? All these thoughts and emotions compounded my escalating anxiety. I needed an aspirin for my troubled mind.

I thought about a sea of red, marching down Sir Matt Busby lane in Manchester, England. The fans were marching towards the spectacle of a celebrated sports rivalry. While watching the action on my television set at home, I thought about how similar I was to the rookie player on the Manchester United team, who had moved all the way from South Korea, into an alien environment. Everything would have been different from what he was used to. He would have known none of the other players. Yet, he had come with a thirst to prove himself and with the belief that he would find support.

I thought about many headline newsflashes I had seen, depicting the pathetic situation of refugees all over the world. These people ate roadside garbage and wore crumpled newspapers. Yet they managed to survive, because of their belief that they would get medical supplies from the Red Cross and clothes from the Salvation Army. These people managed to survive, because of their belief that they would find support. I thought about a UNICEF advertisement I had seen. Only two images from that advertisement came to my mind. One was a boy finishing his game of rag-ball soccer and then going to sleep under a cardboard box, and the other was a phone number that had to be called to make donations. The boy, like the refugees, survived only because he believed in the support he would get from some kind-hearted Samaritan.

“I will always be there for you.” I thought about this assurance I had from God, in the Bhagavad-Gita. Although the speaker did not have much relevance in my fifteen year old life, these words of his got etched into my memory during a difficult time in my life. It was a time when I read a lot, to find some solace. I was in the fourth grade when I developed an itchy rash. I had red, pimple-like protuberances all over my skin. Without bandages on, I smelt like pus. This was the only time I reached the bottom of the social ladder and my only support was my family and some inspirational quotes. Nevertheless, I had support. It was then that my belief crystallized. My belief that I will never walk alone, got etched in stone.

I stood at the entrance. All these memories and thoughts raced through my head. I stepped into my new school. I was not scared anymore. My belief was my aspirin.