This I Believe

Steve - Irving, Texas
Entered on March 6, 2007
Age Group: 50 - 65

I have always been known to be a deep thinker so; naturally, I question things like what is the purpose of life? Why are some people born into much better lives than others? And what is the standard for true success in life? I might never know the answer to these and many other questions but my sister has helped me to realize my own expectations for my life.

I was in the car with my sister, Brandi, and my sister-in–law, Leila, this passed summer when we were stopped at a stop light and a homeless guy caught my eye. Leila and I both made a comment about how he probably wasn’t homeless and our sister looked at us with disappointment and explained that even if someone you see on the side of the street isn’t homeless, even if they have a family and a house and everything they’re still out here trying to find a way to provide for that family and they’re doing a lot more by standing on the side of the road in the heat bored, filled with embarrassment than some people do at the jobs where they are guaranteed to get paid. After she said this, I handed her some money to give to the man and she pulled a few dollars out to give him herself. “God bless” he whispered, as he took the money almost hesitantly; you could see the embarrassment in his eyes though his expression revealed his gratitude. This alone would have been a good lesson for both me and Leila, but it didn’t stop there. As we drove off, she explained that our brother B.J. and she always gave any man on that road money because one day my brother’s car broke down and one of the homeless men helped him push it to the side of the road and fix it. She pointed to what appeared as an abandoned building that used to be some sort of store and told us that that’s where the homeless people stay and they take turns working on the road to provide food. I stared at it with amazement, still trying to comprehend how a man who had nothing would help someone who is much more well off like my brother. This is what started my belief to pursue happiness for yourself and others. After that day I always gave to the homeless every chance I got and I am in a constant search to see what I can do to help others.

I believe that everyone is born with an opportunity to improve this world, whether it is by a beautiful garden patch, a new born child, a redeemed social condition, etc.. Just knowing one person has breathed easier because of you is to have truly succeeded. My philosophy on life is to not just do what is good for your self, but what is good for others as well. It’s the most successful way to pursue happiness. Everyone has something that pulls them out of bed in the morning and drags them through the day when they’re going through times when it doesn’t seem worth it. For me, it’s the little things in life that make me smile: A warm jester from a complete stranger, the look on a homeless persons face when you hand him your extra change, hugs and kisses just to show someone how much you care, in random acts of kindness and doing good with expecting nothing in return.