What Half a Sandwich Can Do

Sofia - San Jose, California
Entered on May 29, 2008

Half a Sandwich.

While I was recently out for an afternoon walk, I spotted a homeless person sleeping by a garbage can. In my hand I held half a sandwich left over from my lunch. As I walked by, I silently placed the sandwich down next to the homeless person’s belongings. A while after, as I headed back, I passed the homeless person and saw the sandwich gone. Hoping it was now in his stomach, I smiled at him. Doing something so small as that can help someone. It does not take a whole lot of effort and will make someone’s day a little bit easier. I know, as I’m sure a lot of you do, that once you do something good, you feel good. That’s how I felt. That day, God didn’t help that person, I did.

When asked to describe my core belief, it took a while for me to come to a somewhat clear explanation. As a Jew, I believe there was a God who created the world and established living things on earth. However, today I don’t believe there is a God in existence. I believe we are the ones responsible for the world; we fill God’s place and become the caretakers. The explanation could be that the world was a gift from God, but now that we have obtained that gift, just as any other, we must care for it. There are huge problems going on around the world and I think if a God existed, God would solve some of them. I believe just as one grows up and begins to take on responsibilities, we are growing up and our responsibility is to care for the Earth and as well as one another. I believe God was our inventor, but nothing else. A God has created the world for us, but now as we grow, we take on the responsibilities the world comes with.

All the choices we make every day are ours and it is a necessity to make those choices and solve problems that people face every day. Whether it is one individual person, one individual town, or one individual country, they are a part of the world we all share. Their problem becomes everyone’s problem and it is unfair for us to ignore any issue big or small. It is written in the Talmud, “Kol Israel Aravim Zeh BaZeh.” This in Hebrew means all of Israel is responsible for one another. Now, we are not all Israel, but I believe it can be applied to the world in general. Everyone in the world is responsible for one another.

A wise man once told me no matter who you meet, who you converse with, who you give any acknowledgment to, each person deserves respect. It does not matter if this person is a poor “bum” on the streets or a snobby office worker from an expensive company. We are all human, and only that. Everyone deserves respect. And a part of respecting someone is showing you care for them or care about them. If we don’t care for one another, what will become of us? This world?

I believe we only live one life. If God has not begun to address problems around the world, when will he? God will not solve the issues for us. As people who reside in this world, it is our job to somehow try and take care of the issue or at least address them so people are aware of the matters at hand. Helping someone out, showing that person respect is taking care them. This is one of OUR responsibilities. God has not intervened with these huge issues in the world like global warming, hunger, or poverty so it is in my belief that God will no longer intervene. We have only so much time and in that time we must do our best to solve our problems, together, because God won’t solve them for us.