This I Believe

Janet - Petoskey, Michigan
Entered on December 2, 2007
Age Group: 30 - 50

This I Believe

The waters are rising, and lifeless bodies float by survivors flailing for help. Would you help the ones in dire need, or would you turn away? I tend to reach out and help. This is my remedy for keeping my mind off my own minuscule struggles.

When I was a little girl, my parents have taught me to look for the positives from tragedies instead of the negatives. I never really grasped the concept until I experienced some tragedies of my own. During my life I have experienced many tragedies, and witnessed the power of mercy. For instance, my nephew Gary Lee Jr, age19, was killed by being pushed onto a highway in front of a truck going 70mph. Gary had witnessed a rape, while walking home from church, one evening. His plan was to tell the police, but I guess someone decided to stop him. To this day it is a mystery on who murdered him. How in the world can you get a positive out of that? I had to ponder on this for a while. I then realized, as time went by, many of my family members drew closer to their children. They started to appreciate the fact that they had a child still alive, to hold and love. My brother Gary, the father of my nephew, also reconnected with his ex-wife, the mother of Gary lee Jr. All because of his death, in all due time, lives have changed to the better.

Other tragedies such as 911, the Tsunami, and Hurricane Katrina have touched many lives as well as mine. I still can see the tears streaming down the victims face while they were talking to the news reporters. This little nine-year-old boy was so furious that the national guards had, not arrived yet. He was very blunt and to the point when he said “people are dying, and we need food and water.” The flash back of people floating face down was so gut wrenching to me that I felt the need to help. I am attending college and had to settle for a part time job instead of full time. The drop in income definitely made an impact. Extra money was simply not there, but as soon as I heard about the victims of the Hurricane Katrina, my heart ached with mercy. I had to help in some way, yet I knew we didn’t have extra money. Since my birthday was right around the corner, I decided to collect all the money from my birthday cards and send it to the Red Cross for the victims. Unlike most people, when I received a gift of money for my birthday, I simply thought of others during times of their tragedies. My heart was engulfed with mercy and giving, only then I can forget about my own needs. I am living proof that tragedies really do bring out the best in people.