This I Believe

Hannah - Saint Louis, Missouri
Entered on January 13, 2009

I believe in others. Giving one hundred dollars toward helping hurting children seems impossible, however, one hardly thinks about spending more than one hundred dollars on a pair of designer jeans.

While waiting in a mile long line on Black Tuesday I realized how much money was being spent that day. Women were frantically stacking boxes and boxes of pointless idioms into their hands. Shoppers were going crazy. The loud announcer shouted, “The first shopper that makes their way over to register five will get ten percent off their entire purchase”. Old women raced toward register five almost trampling other shoppers on the way. When did it come to this? How self-absorbed have we become?

Recently I have realized how much extra stuff I have lying around. Not only am I now aware of how much pointless junk I buy but how much money I spend on this junk. I am someone who loves to complain about how much need there is in the world. Somehow I am always willing to point the finger at America or people around me but now I realize that I should take a good look in the mirror. Not only could I spend my money in a more responsible way, but also I could personally help others with the extra money I won’t be spending on things I don’t need. Instead of whining about the problems of the world I need to put my money where my mouth is and do something about it. I know the resources I give will not fix the world or even come close, but I do know that if we simply come together and stop giving into our materialistic wants and desires, a lot of aide could be given to those in need.

We all seem to have more stuff than we know what to do with. Even though most of us have an overabundance of junk we jump on any excuse we can think of to waste more money. Our hearts go out to those in need, but do not often think of the problem as our personal responsibility. You simply assume someone else will take care of the need and go on your marry way. Through helping someone, you will quickly realize how unfulfilling your life used to be. Putting others first goes against the cut throat culture we live in today but living a lifestyle that puts others first not only helps you see things differently but can change lives.

Making personal sacrifices is not going to be easy. Because we have become so accustomed to our gorging lifestyle, it will most likely take time to train our selfishness to subside. We have lived like this our whole life and the road will be long and frustrating at times but in the end helping someone who is hurting will start to become your new addiction. In the past a bad day may have triggered a minor shopping spree followed by spending money on yet another sweater that looks almost identical to your other ten sweaters in your closet. Any sane person knows that this is a silly purchase and it doesn’t take a genius to inform you that you are being careless with your money. After a while your new lifestyle will get easier. Without all the excessive spending you might even end up wearing one of your sweaters that has been shoved to the back of your closet to make room for all the unneeded clothes you used to buy.

So when you are stressing over which shirt to buy just ask yourself the question…”Do I need either one”?