This I Believe

John - Newtown, Connecticut
Entered on June 6, 2007

We Live Forever In Those We Change

We all have a special somebody who has caused a great change in our lives. It might have been a family member or a close friend going to watch your ball game or even just a teacher saying he or she knows we can do it. Throughout our lives we come to meet these individuals whose mark is then passed on through our actions. The lessons we learn or the subtle actions that we do to change people, although we might never know the name of the person whose trait is passed on, are never forgotten.

Perhaps the most monumental moment when someone has changed my life was on the football team at my high school. I was a junior placed into a situation where I make it and we win, or I miss and we lose. Unfortunately, this time my luck had run out and I missed. As I walked over to the sideline, watching all my teammates, I felt as though every single one of them hated me, then my teammate Aadil said “Keep your chin up. No single game comes down to a single play.” Hearing that perhaps was such a relief, I felt like the loneliest person in the world at that moment. A few weeks later, a teammate dropped a pass, which should have been a touchdown in a very close game, and I could tell he was heartbroken. I said to him, “You have more chances, it is not over from that one play.” Instantly I could tell he became calm and collected and went back out to play. It was after seeing him go back out that I realized the mark Adail had left on me, that in the gravest of moments, the thing that people do need sometimes is just someone to be told they’re not alone. There is no doubt in my mind that the realization of this trait will cause it to be passed on to my children and other people I meet in life, which will cause them to pass it on to their children and them after that. In each and every person who is now touched by this, Aadil will always in a sense live in them.

Azar Nafisi believed that we all have a “mysterious connection that link individuals to each other despite their vast differences” because of our ability to “enter their world through the magic of imagination” and explore our “curiosity about the fate of others.” Decent actions spread like the light of the rising sun; no matter how the night changes us, the light is always there and always comes. You never know who will be impacted; it could even be the person standing next to you. It is this mysterious connection I feel we share with people, that always makes me think twice each time I wander in a public place. I believe our names will be forgotten, but the actions of decency we’ve provoked will continue to speak louder than words.