This I Believe

Jacqueline - Staten Island, New York
Entered on September 10, 2007
Age Group: 18 - 30

I believe in change. Change is one of the most constant and consistent parts of life. When I think of change, both negative and positive thoughts consume my mind. The idea of change scares me, yet sparks energy within me. I truly believe that as humans, we are conditioned to be fearful of change because it is the unknown; however change is inevitable and should be embraced.

Over the past year I have learned not only to accept change, but to appreciate it as well. Looking back, I can think of the most important moments of my life, and most, if not all, involve a change of sorts. There’s starting new schools, making friends, dating new people, grieving over a lost one, and above all, traveling that has shaped who I am and has allowed me to grow into the person I am today.

The most prominent change of my life to date was my year of living abroad in London, England. When you are moved from the only lifestyle you have ever known and immersed in a culture, let alone, a continent that is different from your own, your boundaries are changed and your ability to adapt becomes apparent. I was forced to abandon my preconceived notions of what I thought Europe would be and embrace the differences for what they are. I did not realize that I had changed as a person until I came home and realized that although I had personally grown in both mind and spirit, many of my friends had stayed exactly the same.

In addition to personal transformations, change can also be directed to our society.

Change has the ability to be both a noun and a verb. Given this, I believe that change, though at times may seem random, is a thing; something we can physically give to another person. When I think of change, I don’t just think of the kind of change that everyone experiences through life. Quoting Mahatma Gandhi, my favorite quote of all-time is, “You must be the change you wish to see in the world.” In a fragile world, a vital role we each can play is the change that we, as mankind, can make on each other. It is our responsibility as humans to change what we can fix, in order to make our lives easier and better.

Change can be uncomfortable and overwhelming. It can make you yearn for the past, but from my personal experiences, it also makes the future that much more exciting. As change occurs, you may not even know it is happening, but that is what makes the ride worthwhile. It’s the unknown that takes us out of our comfort zone and displays our true character.