This I Believe

Natalie - Riverton, Utah
Entered on December 6, 2007

With the searing sun beating on my back I desperately search for an alternate world to reside in. I’ve chosen to live in an unconventional world far removed from hate and spite. In my perfect world, Christmas is lived all year long; not the over priced commercialism that bombards us today. I simply refer to the true Christian spirit. I believe in charity, service, and love.

Too often we find ourselves in an individualistic society. No one thinks of what they can do for others. The focus of society is to give as little as possible and just reap the countless benefits. While visiting my grandparents in Panama, my eyes were opened to how corrupt society’s system is. I saw people in dress suites stride pridefully past destitute people living in cardboard boxes. My juvenile mind could not comprehend how different lives could be. Why can’t we just take compassion on our fellow man? If humanity lived the Christmas spirit all year long, charity would exist and poverty would be diminished.

I confess, I am one of those obnoxious people who listens to Christmas music in September. I can’t help it if it makes me happy. With the themes of “Peace on Earth, Goodwill to Man,” I have found myself becoming more charitable. I focus less on talking and more on listening. It’s not my selfish needs that bring me happiness, but my acts of service. If people realized how Christmas brought such fulfillment, depression would decrease substantially. It would diminish because people would worry less about their own personal cares and everyone might reach out and embrace their fellowman.

My somewhat whimsical desire for Christmas to be lived everyday was been challenged by the daily reports of the deaths in Iraq, the fires in California, and the robberies in stores. Can the pure love of goodness live when there is so much wrong everywhere? I recently found that it can. My hope for mankind is not futile. While getting ready for a class last week I realized that there was a test scheduled for that day and I didn’t have a scantron. I turned to my neighbor and pretended to be calm as I asked her if I could possibly buy a scantron from her. Smiling, she handed me a scantron and said “Keep the change.” This act of simple charity brought me to the conclusion that men are inherently good; we choose to corrupt ourselves.

While my ideal may seem juvenile, Christmas can be lived daily. We can choose to create a better world than the one we reside in. Charity and love can be achieved if we just reach out our hands to others. Maybe humanity isn’t ready to hear “O Little Town of Bethlehem” year round, but it is ready to expand and serve others.