This I Believe
I believe in the will of the individual to make selfless decisions on the behalf of others. There are many people in this world that are good people, people that go out of their way to show kindness to a stranger, but what is more significant is their motivation. Some perform these selfless acts for the fear or praise of God, or for the fear and praise from people. The highest merit would be a person to aid others in spite of recognition for their acts, but purely for the betterment of society. There is nothing wrong with having a God to motivate you to do nice things, but those who do not need a mystical being to encourage them, and still perform moral acts of kindness, are the true honorees.
When I was in seventh grade I went with two of my best friends to Valley Fair Mall. Our plan had been laid out. We were going to steal clothes from all the major department stores, our main target being Nordstrom. I had truly never stolen anything, other than gum when I was 3. I don’t believe I had ever even considered it. The motivation that kept me from stealing things before was the consequences I could face with authority. That one morning after Halloween I had let my fear of the consequences be diluted by my friend’s pressure to steal. Of course the blame should not be all on them; I was excited about our plan. After we had scammed our way through many clothes in many stores I began to get greedier and with my request we headed over to Nordstrom. It would be our last store because as we were walking through those story-high doors guards ran after us like pit bulls after a mailman. I was dragged every slow embarrassing step to the back of the store in handcuffs. At that moment I was entirely regretful at the fact that we got caught, but in a year I was grateful the change it had brought me. I was able to establish my own moral code and understand that I had no right to those clothes and not because God said so but because I know what it feels like to have things stolen and I would not wish those feeling on anyone else. I have other motivations behind my actions and one of those would be that I would like to contribute to society so people can recognize me as a benefit to society, not a menace. We may not know if there is a God but we know for a fact that there are people like us and for that we must cherish them by performing acts of kindness.
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