This I Believe

Alice - Pennington, New Jersey
Entered on February 5, 2007
Age Group: 50 - 65

This I believe

I believe that we create our own world through our behavior and the choices we make. I believe that if we want our home, office, family, church, whatever to be loving, caring and accepting that each of us has to model that way of being.

I believe we can try our best to be a positive influence on others. When I am in a supermarket I try to connect with the people in line and with the checkout clerk. I try to make people smile and laugh. Ok, so some people think I am a nut case for my sense of humor. However, smiles are contagious. I like to think that my smile will be passed on, and that it will cause a cascading ripple of smiles.

I believe that by tolerating bad behavior, we encourage it. That when we fail to say .. I will not support, elect or ignore people who trounce on my values, we are complicit in their actions. I believe that people should be expected to live up to their promises and follow-up on their commitments.

I believe that we can show our respect for people through simple acts such as holding doors open, waiting so people can cross the street and saying thank you. I believe that through such simple acts, we can transcend racial and other boundaries. I think it says…. “I see you, and you matter to me.” This form of polite behavior is often lost in the frenetic traffic of our lives.

I believe that my life is good. I have been fortunate to have all of the basic necessities of life and more. I have an education which enables me to continually grow, that has enabled me to achieve a level of financial security which provides a safety net.

I believe that I have a responsibility help others to create their own safety nets. I am a literacy tutor currently working with a 44 year old woman, who cannot read. Her life is very different from mine. Last week I helped her to open her first ever bank account. Although she works full-time and has a great deal of wisdom, her inability to read makes her financially, socially and legally vulnerable. I believe that we as a society, must work to help her and others like her to achieve a level of competency which will restore her self-esteem and level the playing field which now restricts her life.

I believe that we are responsible for creating our world. However, not all of us were given a fair share of what is needed for success. Take away, my mother’s education, my upbringing which introduced me from an early age to music, books and art, my education. Who might I be? What if I had struggled to read and instead of being helped, I was ridiculed? What if my self-esteem became so damaged that I threw in the towel and only much later realized that I was not stupid, only in need of a supportive teacher who was motivated to help me?

I believe that we can, one person at a time, make this world a softer, more loving place. This I believe.