This I Believe

Yasmine - Issaquah, Washington
Entered on March 20, 2007

What help can we be to the world if we are no help to ourselves? I believe love should be the alternate of air. It should be the very thing we breathe. We take it in, and we let it out onto others. Yet, it’s not as easy as it can be written. There are many people who want to or do love others and do good deeds, but those good deeds and that what you call love you gave is no good if you can’t find love for your own being. In other words, hypocrisy.

My parents have been raising me wonderfully. Yes, there are some things that I don’t fully agree with along the way, but I know it’s all for the best outcome. One thing that they have engraved within me is that we need to love others as we love ourselves. I never fully understood the “love ourselves” part. Now I know it’s because I never fully loved myself. That’s what many people fight with and try ignoring the fact.

How is it one can truly be happy with himself? One way is when they can come face to face with past and present issues. It’s a bold step, but none the less important. When that’s done, everything makes better sense. It’s a cleansing step where you mature in knowing that who you are is all who you want to be. When you know what the little quarks and “flaws” you have are, it’s those that make you so spectacular. When you can see that, you know that you are genuinely significant. That’s what I call, loving one’s self.

There’s also the problem where people can be bitter and don’t know how to love their neighbor. This too is common. If you have problems with this, it may be true that you have problems with loving yourself. Overcome your problems, and then you can help others overcome theirs. What does it mean to love your neighbor? It simply means to show kindness, compassion, and understanding to those you come in contact with on a daily basis. Don’t hate anyone, don’t discriminate against anyone. Generations and generations of my family have been discriminated against because of race. I remember my grandmother shared an example of discrimination. She was a young woman driving with her family through Texas to get to Mexico. She clearly remembers seeing a sign on a restaurant building saying “No dogs, No Mexicans.” Not only had my grandparents experienced this, but my parents as well. No more than 20 years ago, my dad had just come out of boot camp and became an officer for the military. He and my mom were at the mall down in the south and they too, remember clearly the dirty looks they were given. They could see the distrust people had in them. It’s not just a thing of the past, my family as a whole has experienced it at times. We don’t let it get the best of us. Instead we just know that we need to show love to those who judge and hope the best for them. It’s not an easy thing to do, but it’s the only thing we want to do.

With love, walls of hate and judgment would fall to our feet. It’s the very base of happiness. It’s the very base in which conflicts and wars would be avoided. I believe that the breath we take in should be that of love. This I believe.