This I Believe

Emily - Manchester, Missouri
Entered on May 9, 2007

I have a once-a-week addiction. Every Tuesday at 7:00 P.M., I sit on my futon and zombie-like gaze, at my T.V. to watch American Idol. I watch in awe, as America turns nobodies into somebodies.

On the night of April 25, 2007 my life was changed. The theme on American Idol that night was “Idol Gives Back”. The event of this night was to help raise money for children all over the world, stretching from Africa to kids right here in America.

This benefit raised over $70,000,000. Watching clips of the kids living in small huts made of mud, seeing most of them parentless due to Malaria, AIDS, and other horrible diseases, and some dying themselves made me open my eyes. There are bunches of people who look at others with disgust and judge them just by their race, religion, gender, or class status in society. Too many are quick to judge and do not take time to know the heart of a person instead of just seeing his lifestyle.

The king himself, Elvis Presley, once said, “Don’t criticize what you don’t understand boy. You’ve never walked in that man’s shoes.” This quote has a lot of significance in the way we should treat others. Not everyone is blessed with the things most people take for granted, such as a home, a car, an income, and even health. I have abundance empathy for those unfortunate children who live as if everyday really were their last, because it might be.

I don’t believe in kicking a man when he’s down, I believe in giving him a hand to help him up. Some people turn their backs on these issues because they either don’t have the time or don’t even care. Growing up I was always taught to look at a person by their mind and character and not by their race or belief. One of my goals in life is to help at least one person a day whether it might be a friend, a family member, or a complete stranger. I think that everyone has the power to change someone’s life.

Seeing these children on T.V. struggle to make it through each day makes me want to appreciate life more. Most of these kids have seen more horrible things happen to their families, neighbors, and friends than most of us can even imagine. I only get one shot at life so I am going to take advantage of everything I am grateful for. Anyone, no matter what their: race, gender, size, age, status, religion might be, everyone deserves a chance at life. This, I believe.