This I Believe

Andrea - Saratoga, California
Entered on January 17, 2007
Age Group: Under 18

This year has fluctuated more than any other that I have ever experienced. With that I can say that there have been so many more emotions flying around hastily—love, hate, happiness, sadness—and so many more life changing events.

I believe that it shouldn’t take a personal, more drastic event to make a person realize things, change their perspective, or improve themselves or their morality. I’m not saying that people shouldn’t change after a life-changing event, I’m proposing that people take the initiative to act or realize sooner.

Not so long ago, one of our school’s football coaches passed away at a very young age. Not everyone knew him personally, but people identified with the solemn event because he was part of our tightly-knit community. I remember that all throughout the rest of the day, in my conversations, the topic of his death resurfaced, and the sentiments were the same: “It’s unbelievable how he died at such a young age; life is so unpredictable— I have to remember to appreciate the simple things in life.” Why don’t people take the time to value the simple things on a daily basis, why does it take an event like this to spark the idea? I wonder why many people are apathetic to good changes until something effects them personally.

Looking at more than just my school’s community, I feel as if humans all around the world act this way sometimes. There are many problems occurring on our Earth, but not enough support to conquer them. We can’t wait until a violation of human rights in a third world country finally affects us before taking a stand to try and change the situation. However, I have faith and I also believe that we can cooperate—the whole world is our community. There are so many grass roots organizations, petitions, and activists trying to make a change, which strengthen my optimism that we’re working towards something good.