This I Believe

Devin - Seattle, Washington
Entered on January 21, 2007

I believe in friendliness toward strangers. I feel that it is best to share the love with as many people as you can. Even if all you do is perhaps a nod or a smile, you can still change a person’s day for the better.

Let me ask you to think back to a day when you were walking down the street, or maybe riding in a car, and either waved or smiled or somehow reached out to some person you don’t even know. Or, instead, maybe think about a time that someone has reached out to you and has maybe made your day a little better by smiling or waving at you.

I think that a lot of older people have the wrong idea about teenagers and occasionally, I think it’s up to me and other teenagers to let them know that a lot of the time they do have the wrong idea. Especially the little old ladies that kind of scowl as you walk by them. If you just drop a smile and they return it, it makes you feel better because maybe next time they will smile first and make someone else have a little better day. I believe in doing the small, seemingly unimportant things that puts a smile on someone’s face.

In my opinion, friendliness and acceptance can save lives. An example of friendliness having the power to save lives is the Columbine Shooting. I believe that the kids who shot everyone might not have been driven to do such a horrible thing if they had felt the friendliness of others. Even a smile directed toward them might have made them a little happier in life.

That was just one example of the power of friendliness, or lack there of. This idea of friendliness can be taken to world wide level as well. Most wars are started because two cultures can’t accept one another. I think that being friendly is a form of showing your acceptance of people. If different cultures accepted each other, they would be less likely to try and kill each other.

I think both these examples relate to my belief because both are situations that could be prevented by friendliness and in turn acceptance. I consider one of the most gratifying things in the world to be when you smile, wave, or even just nod to a stranger, and they smile, wave or nod back. This I believe.