This I Believe

Cory - Marietta, Georgia
Entered on December 17, 2007
Age Group: Under 18

I Believe in Saying No

I used to believe in Superglue. Superglue fixes everything; it makes it look like there was never anything wrong, like there was never a problem. That used to be me.

When I was younger, I loved to help people, mostly when it came to fixing other people’s arguments. When my sisters would start a contest of who can scream louder, I would intervene and work it out. In middle school, Julie was new and she had no friends. At some point in the first week, I was nice to her, so she ended up following me everywhere. Where I sat at lunch, she sat next to me. Where I plopped down in class, there she was, tugging on my sleeve trying to get my attention. So it is safe to say that everywhere I went, Julie would follow. One day in sixth period, I was talking to a few of my friends and she made a very stupid comment that was met with blank stares and giggles all around. She had meant it to be funny, but no one laughed except me. As she ran away, tears rolling down her face, I started after her. I was so used to being the peacemaker, like a robot, I automatically worked it out without even having to be asked. Ironic isn’t it? I was the only one who did not need to apologize, yet the only one apologizing.

That was my job: to fix everyone’s problems, or so I thought. I was under the impression that I was helping people and making life easier for them. What I didn’t realize was that I was actually hurting them. To be a strong and independent person, you have to prove you can fix your own problems, which I had already done for myself. On the other hand, with me scurrying around always fixing their problems for them, I never gave them a chance to do it on their own.

It is hard to have such a strong belief that affects so many parts of your life slowly fade away. In about eighth grade, I realized that I wasn’t so busy with other people’s problems anymore. I discovered that as I grew and maturated, I found it easier to say no. I wasn’t the girl who was known for fixing everyone else’s problems anymore, I was known for fixing my own. The first part of becoming a mature person for me was being able to fix my own problems. The second and harder part was letting go of my “responsibility” to do the same for every one else. I became a stronger person when I let go. I now believe that the best way to help others is to let them help themselves; to let them be their own Superglue.