Insignificant Actions

Jennie - Okemos, Michigan
Entered on December 8, 2008
Age Group: 18 - 30

Individuals have made immense impacts on my life and I have made impacts on the lives of those around me. Seemingly insignificant actions have been brought to my attention later as life changing moments in other people’s lives.

When I was a sophomore in high school I was taking Chemistry. I was one of only two sophomores in a class full of juniors and seniors. I excelled in the subject and often found myself helping others with home work or concepts. I would help any that asked and seemed truly interested in learning as opposed to just copying answers. Years after taking this class I was in line to enter a rock concert and someone called out my name. I recognized the person, but couldn’t even recall his name. He greeted my enthusiastically and introduced me to all the friends not only by name, but also with the disclaimer that I had single handedly helped him pass a chemistry class that he would have otherwise failed. He then continued saying that this had given him enough credits to graduate high school. I was dumbstruck.

Later I reviewed in my mind life changing moments and I realized that these moments would probably be equally forgettable to those who had helped me or pushed me. There are literally people that have changed my life who probably don’t know my name or can’t remember it just like Mike.

I have spent a lot of time pondering what my life would be like without these people and I can’t imagine it. On an individual level and in the positive case I illustrated this probably does not seem that crucial. However, there are people out there who did not have someone to help them when they needed it. Who are they? I have stories about that too. In extreme cases these are our society’s suicide victims, homeless, and drug dealers. In less extreme cases these are people performing below their potential or missing excellent opportunities because nobody was there to help. I believe the world would be a better place if people set out to help other people. I know I will because I never know when my personally insignificant actions will be life changing for someone else.