Growing up, I have almost always been a minority in my religion. It has always been important to me to be a good example to those around me, because what they think of me is what they think of my religion. I never realized how much of what I did effected those around me. Also, I have three younger siblings. I know they watch me, because as we get older, I see them mimicking the same mistakes I made at their age. Sometimes what I do justifies what they do. I believe that our actions affect far more than just ourselves. They have impact on people we might even know, let alone the ones we do know.
I have a little sister that is seven years younger than me. Sometimes I find her making the same little mistakes that I did at her age, never knowing that she even noticed those things. Some of it is just her age, and the mannerisms that naturally come with being an 11/12 year old, but there is a big portion of it that I know she picked up from me. My aunt has a picture in her house that I used to see all of the times and never think much of until about one year ago. It is a picture of everyone in both her and her husband’s side of the family. Across the top, it reads “These are the people that your decisions affect every day”. When I really stopped to think about that, I thought: how many people actually care about me and what I choose to do with my life? Yes, my siblings and my parents care, but I see them every day! Do my decisions really matter to anyone else?
There is a story I have heard before about a boy names Chris who was walking home from school and saw another boy that was walking home, struggling to keep a massive pile of books stacked in his arms from toppling over. Without thinking, Chris walked over and offered to help him carry his books. The boy gratefully accepted and they walked home together. As they walked home, something clicked between the two. Eventually they became great friends, and were hardly seen apart from then on. A few years later, this boy was giving his valedictorian speech at graduation. He told a story about a day when he was a freshman, and had decided that life just wasn’t worth it. He cleaned his locker on out, and was planning to kill himself that night. When another person stepped in to help him, he realized that there were people out there who cared about his life, and he decided not to follow through with his intentions. Because of a random stranger that made a decision to be kind, this boy’s life was spared. When you make a positive choice like Chris did, you never know who you are affecting, and who knows; you might even save someone’s life!
As I have graduated from high school and move on to college, I have realized how many people I have affected. When I moved out of my house, I couldn’t help but thinking: “Have I left a good impression here? Have I done good things for those around me? Will anyone here benefit in the long run because of my life? I would love to think that the answer is yes. I am determined to continue making righteous choices, not only for me and my benefit, but for the ones I love. I know that they care, and that they suffer from our bad choices, and reap the benefits of our good ones.
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