This I Believe

Sarah - Wichita, Kansas
Entered on December 10, 2008
Age Group: Under 18

How many times have you told an acquaintance the phrase “I’m happy for you”? How many times have you actually meant it? I believe in sincerely being happy for others. Three years ago my aunt taught me how to do something so simple yet so incredible.

My aunt could never give birth to a baby with her ex-husband. They tried and tried, and they always lost the baby. They got a divorce, still caring for each other. Several years later, my aunt’s ex-husband remarried and soon enough, his new wife was pregnant. It was a success. Like a grapevine, he wanted to spread the thrilling news. Knowing it would be rather difficult for my aunt, he informed my aunt quickly. She was actually one of the first to know. It was indeed bittersweet news for her. Bitter, because she wasn’t the one able to give him a baby. Sweet, because he was finally given the chance to become a father. All in all, she was truly happy for him. It was a happiness that brought tears to her eyes. A happiness that stung a little inside. “I’m happy for you,” she told him smiling to herself in the midst of tears—and she meant it with all her heart.

I remember the first time I practiced this kindness. My 7th grade softball final game was against my best friend’s team. This was the game that would determine who would make it to the “big league.” My best friend’s team ended up with the victory. Although it stung quite a bit inside, I was still smiling from ear to ear. My best friend was making it to the big league. To me, this was victory. Although seemingly insignificant, I felt the same happiness for another just as my aunt did. “I’m happy for you,” I told her—and I truly meant it.

When someone “steals” the victory away from you, it’s normal to feel jealousy and envy rising inside of you. However, I believe by replacing the jealousy with happiness, a weight is lifted off of your shoulders. Although it may be bittersweet at times, this act of kindness can beyond doubt do wonders. It takes courage to change such unbearable feelings into just simple happiness. Despite the difficulty, I believe that every human being has the capability of telling another sincerely, “I’m happy for you.” This I believe.