This I Believe

Anna - Orland Park, Illinois
Entered on November 27, 2007
Age Group: 18 - 30

Has there ever been a situation where someone has changed your life completely?” I’m sure that you can come up with plenty of examples where someone has done something to you that completely affected your life, either in a positive or negative way. A lot of times, when people personally affect someone it’s subliminal; there’s no way to tell if you have changed just by one encounter. However, this is not always the case. There is one particular time when I knew that I was changed right away.

My freshman year of high school, in 2004, I went with my father to work for take your daughter to work day. I had no idea before I left the house that this day I would remember for the rest of my life. While my dad and I were pulling into his terminal there was a homeless man on the street. My father didn’t really say much about it until lunch time. We ordered in from a local restaurant because there was a lot of work to be done so there wasn’t much time to go out. When my dad was ordering, he ordered an excess amount of food. I didn’t pay much attention until we were done eating and there was a ton of food left over. He then said, “Anna, this is something that I hope you will take with you as you continue to grow into a young woman. There will always be people in the world that are less fortunate then you. If you have the resources and abilities to help them, then why wouldn’t you?” I was really taken aback by these words as I watched my father walk outside and hand the man some food. He also invited him to come inside and warm up while the office was still open. The man declined saying my father had done enough for him with one small gesture. It made me realize that by reaching out and doing something as small as helping someone in need can really affect them.

There are many different factors in my life that have made me who I am. My parents, peers and relationships have shaped me to be the person that I am. My parents have instilled in me great virtues of kindness to others, compassion and faith. My peers have taught me to be social and incorporate others feelings into my life. And my relationships have taught me about love and trust, these two being the most important of all life’s lessons. Life revolves around happiness, the happiness of yourself and the people around you. How you act affects your happiness and everyone surrounding you. My personal belief is that without other people in your life to shape you and force you to grow in a positive way, you are not rising to your full potential as a human being.