This I Believe

Natalie - USA
Entered on May 15, 2007
Age Group: 30 - 50
Themes: change, love

This I Believe

Love has the power to change people. Out of all the virtues, love is the most important. I’ve seen how love can build a person up, and I’ve seen how love can bring a person down. Love has the power to create and destroy. I believe that every person needs to be loved, no mater who they are or what they’ve done. There is no such thing as being deserving or undeserving of love. The greatest command is to love your neighbor as yourself…and that doesn’t mean your next-door-neighbor.

In teaching little kids, I’ve learned many life lessons. One important lesson I’ve learned is that every child needs to feel loved. It is absolutely amazing how a child will flourish when they feel cared for. I’ve had many students who are stubborn and feel that there is no need to try in dance class. The more I get to know the student, the more I realize that they don’t want to try because they feel that they aren’t good enough. Yet, with a little bit of encouragement and support, the child eventually begins to improve. At the present moment, I have a student with some behavior problems. For the first couple months of class I honestly could not stand her. She was rude, disrespectful, and dishonest. It seemed that every second I had to reprimand her. I was about ready to pull my hair out. After talking about it with my mom, who is an elementary school teacher, I realized that the student wasn’t the only one with the problem. I wasn’t helping at all with my attitude towards her. In the following weeks I tried to be more positive with her. When she did a step correctly I would praise her a little more, I would thank her for her short moments of good behavior, and I set clear discipline boundaries. But the most important thing I did was show her that, even though I was disciplining her for her bad behavior, I still loved her. She still has her bad moments, but they’re fewer. I’ve even noticed that her interaction with the other girls has improved. Amazing what just a little bit of love will do.

Many people live like love is conditional. They pick and chose whom they will care for, saying that everyone else is undeserving or not worthy of such a privilege. Love is not a privilege and love is not conditional. Your close family needs love, your classmates or co-workers need love, the reject in school needs love, the homeless person on the street needs love, even a convicted murderer needs love. EVERYONE needs love. I’ve seen what just a small “hello” or “how are you” can brighten someone’s day. I believe that love is important, and I believe that love can go far.