This I Believe

Erin - Palatine, Illinois
Entered on May 30, 2007

When I was a child I used to be very friendly. I would introduce myself to the kids at the park who looked lonely. I was never shy nor did I care about what others thought. As I grew older, I lost this part of me. I suddenly became more aware of others’ opinions about me. Not being judged became more important than doing what’s right. As a child I had never worried about others’ opinions because it didn’t matter. People say that as we get older we get wiser, but I believe the opposite. I believe that when we are children we are truly good and are able to make the right decisions.

As I remember how I used to be the kid in the park who would play with the other kid that was alone or share my toy with those that didn’t have one, I feel very proud of myself. I am proud because I don’t have the courage to do that anymore. Halfway through my freshman year, I noticed a girl sitting by herself in the Fremd cafeteria. I felt sorry for her because she looked so sad sitting alone, but I could not get myself to have enough courage to sit with her or even invite her to my table. I knew she was there the whole year, and stayed there for the rest, but each day I felt like I had to ignore her because I was afraid of being judged by other students.

However, if I listened to what’s left of the child in me, I know that it would tell me to say hi and that other people’s opinions don’t matter. It would wonder why my opinion wasn’t just as important as theirs and see clearly what’s right and wrong. And when things are wrong, be able to fix them. I believe that as we get older we are less wise because we cannot make the most simple and right decisions. Children can easily share their toys, but adults, who spend millions of dollars on themselves, find it difficult to donate a small portion of it to charities. I don’t know when this happens, but people decide to grow up and walk away from the innate values that fill their childhood. For me, I did not know this happened until it was too late. One day I looked back and was disappointed in myself for the way I lived. I began to long for my childhood because it was so much simpler, but really, it’s because as children we knew how to live without regrets.

So I have learned from my mistakes and have promised myself to keep my inner child alive. It will influence how I make my decisions and it will be my instinct. I believe that children are innately good and are far wiser than even the leaders of our world. This I believe.