This I Believe

Sarah - Wisconsin
Entered on October 15, 2007
Age Group: Under 18

Brand names, technology, and other material culture are what seem to be important to people today. Although shopping and traveling are my two passions, the thing that excites me most comes for free. I believe in helping others less fortunate than me. I constantly remind my self of the two questions that guide my life: Who is rich? Who has a lot? After reminding myself of these guiding questions I am able to focus on the most important thing, the answer: The one who is happy with what she has is the one who is rich.

When working with those less fortunate than me, it can be sad to see people in such devastation. But this devastation makes me want to help even more, work even harder, and in the end the experience is much more rewarding because of it. In the many times I have served meals at the Agape Community Center, a center for underprivileged families, I have enjoyed talking to the people and seeing their appreciation and happiness. Seeing this temporary happiness exhibited in a smile I plan to continue with my help to allow others to experience that same happiness that makes me as rich as I am.

Watching T.V. can also, believe it or not, make me realize how fortunate I am. When I watch Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, every week I am able to see a different family in a different unimaginable situation being granted their dream home. While I sit on my own couch, I easily forget the adjustments that I wish were being made to my home and begin to cry. My tears stem from my thoughts about how lucky I am and how much I wish I could travel through the T.V. screen just to give this week’s featured family a hug of support. Getting a bad grade or my mom not buying me the shoes I want all seems stupid, unimportant, and even selfish when I look at these less fortunate people and think about how much less fortunate they truly are.

Organizing drives and collections in my school and community is just another way to help me appreciate what I have. It is so simple to gather old clothing or toiletries that are so easily attainable in my life. When taking up these collections, I am able to see that some people don’t even have things that I consider simple necessities when I have these things and so much more.

Appreciating what I have has in the past helped me to reach out and make a change to better the situation of those less fortunate than me. But the question now is: what can it help me do in the future? I plan to continue to be rich in happiness, if not richer (and happier). In reflecting on this central belief of mine, I have formulated a strategy to guide me in the future. I plan to help those less fortunate than me until they reach the point that they are fortunate enough to help those less fortunate than themselves. When this happens, I will move on to a different group of less fortunate people and the cycle will continue.