This I Believe

Colleen - Littleton, Colorado
Entered on May 14, 2007

Pushed Into the River

I believe in living your life out to its fullest, and not just by proving to people that you did heroic deeds, but proving to yourself that you spent your life to the greatest it can be. My whole life I have had a dream of being able to tell my grandchildren of the great accomplishments I have done, or the valiant acts I have succeeded in. Wouldn’t you want to be known for doing something great or being the hero?

When I was little, whenever I was at the pool, I would always keep my eyes open incase some unfortunate kid fell in and started to drown. I would scan the area around the pool looking at all the children because I wanted to be the hero and go save them, so that everyone would praise me and tell me how valiant I was. After children see those Superman and James Bond movies, they almost always go through a phase where they do stupid things just to be the hero or have a death defying adventure. “I’m going to climb up that burning building to save the person stuck in the room!” “Well I’m going to stand in front of that truck and stop it from hitting the little bunny!” Luckily most kids grow out of that stage by the time they are nine or ten, and thankfully, I was one of them.

In Fifth grade, my friend and I went out in a huge rainstorm with her two dogs. The whole open-space area was flooded but I continued to lead the way. When we go to a huge ravine, I purposely pushed the little puppy into the fast-moving water and then jumped in after it to ‘save the day’. All I could hear was the sound of the rain hitting my forehead as I jumped in after it. Once I got in the water and was swept five yards away from the dog, I realized that it was not a smart decision on my part. Fortunately, after that experience, I learned that I don’t always have to be the hero to show people that I can do great things; sometimes the little things that no one notices, are the greatest deeds you can accomplish.

Last year an autistic child moved in next door to me. He is ten years old and cannot make real words. I had no way to communicate with him, but I always saw him jumping on his trampoline outside. One day I went over there and started to jump with him. After a few minutes he could not stop grinning and started to grab my hands and jump in a circle with me. We stopped five minutes later because he was laughing so hard. That experience really made me feel that by just coming and jumping with him, I made a huge difference. I didn’t need anyone to tell me that what I had done was good; I had that rejoice from just the smile on his face.

You don’t need someone to tell you that you accomplished something or did a heroic deed, that satisfaction comes by itself, and it’s the littlest things that usually impact you the most; this I believe.