This I Believe

Alexander - Carmel, Indiana
Entered on November 25, 2007

I believe in giving my love to all; I believe in the simple things that connect me to other people, the random acts that spark lasting relationships. Above all, I believe in the possibility of finding a friend in each and every person I meet.

About halfway through high school, my classmate Evan opened my eyes to this potential friend in everyone. Thanks to his long, unruly hair and jacket emblazoned with death metal insignia, preconceived notions told me that friendship wasn’t probable, if possible at all. This all changed once our purely coincidental interest in a club meeting gave me a chance to get to know him; our shared interest in “Guitar Hero”, a video game that’s a shallow mockery of the true instrument, expanded to include us picking up the real thing together. Our shared successes and failures—and given our previous musical experience, we had quite a bit of the latter—only helped us to know each other better. We’ve been friends ever since. The experience sparked a change in the way I believe that I should approach others; if I can befriend Evan, a person I assumed was totally unlike myself, then it’s likely that I have something in common with almost everyone I come across. I told myself I would start being more open and, to use a clichéd phrase in its most platonic meaning, more loving. While it’s something I continue to work on, I’ve already noticed a vast improvement in the quality of my friendships, and thus an increase in my own happiness. With Evan and in any relationship, when it is strengthened, so is our individual sense of well-being. It may be said that love isn’t selfish; when practiced, however, it surely benefits everyone involved.

Regardless of first impressions, everybody deserves my love. While I’m hardly perfect in my own attempts at being a friend to all, my experience has shown that even the slightest effort to reach out to others can have a positive impact. By continuing this practice, it is my hope that I can further develop my love for others, and in turn, brighten everyone’s day.