This I Believe

Rachel - Sandwich, Massachusetts
Entered on January 31, 2008
Age Group: Under 18

Instructions on How to Make the World a Better Place By Rachel D

As I dig back into the attic of my mind I find a box labeled, “Emotionally Coping with Death”. This box has a light dusting, as if it hasn’t been opened frequently. I can remember the first time I ever opened this box in my mind. It was the time in my life when I was still realizing these things were shocking to me. Like the first time I realized that when grandpa died he’s never coming back.

I was about seven and was lying in bed thinking before I went to sleep. It was a powerful blow that hit me when I realized that everything we have, everything we know, everything we see around us will someday be gone. All of our family, friends, and even the strangers we see on the streets will one day move on. That night that I started thinking about this I couldn’t stop crying. Through my sobbing I cried out to my mom who was comforting me, “Momma, why does what ever I do matter, if one day I am just going to die?” “What if when I die I am not ready to die?” “What if I haven’t done what I wanna do yet?” I decided that I would have to do something that would make me live forever. I guess that was the best conclusion that my seven year old mind could come up with.

Now when I open this box I am older and more mature. I know that there is a better answer than deciding that I would live forever I believe that I have a calling to do something for the greater good, so that whatever I do will passed down from generation to generation. I guess that in a sense that would be living forever. I don’t know if I’m going to be able to stop global warming, cure cancer, or end the aids epidemic. But maybe if I could just be remembered for some small thing, something my grandchildren will tell their grandchildren then I know I will be okay.

When we are all gone, when everything and everyone around us is no more, will people know you? There are so many people in this world, more now than have ever existed in the past. What will you do to make yourself stand out? Since I am only 13 now my major goal in life is to make the world a little better of a place for the next generations to come. If everyone, or maybe not everyone, or maybe just the people that hear my belief make this a goal too, we won’t be afraid to die because we’ll know that the world we’re leaving to our children will be okay.

So now in the attic in my mind, next to the box labeled “Emotionally Coping with Death” there is a box that says “Instructions on How to Make the World a Better Place” and in this box is my belief: do something in life that will make the world a better place after you die. This I believe.