This I Believe

Luisa - Houston, Texas
Entered on February 28, 2009
Age Group: Under 18

I believe. Two, insignificant short words. Two, short words that can leave behind its insignificance and transform into a significant outcome and impact. Two words that I try to use quite frequently.

I’m 15 years old and I’ve lived in more than 3 countries, lived in more than 5 cities, and I’ve been to more than 8 schools and I’m only in the tenth grade .Emerged into different customs and cultures, languages and beliefs, I’ve absorbed bits of this and bits of that into the persona that I am today.

I was born in Colombia and moved all the way across to NY. I was at first bizarre by the new ways, a little afraid even, and frustrated. I couldn’t understand why others had to speak a different language and why I had to learn theirs. But nonetheless, I wasn’t alone. NY has been one of the most diverse places I have ever witnessed, and along with the support of my classmates, I understood that the wise thing to do was to incorporate a little bit of everything from everyone’s culture, instead of blocking out those different from mine. With little details I picked up from all the corners of the world, for it was what my classroom was, I was able to make wiser decisions, to analyze situations from different points of views, to see beyond the obvious, and to gratify what I had.

We then moved to Mexico, leaving my brothers behind. I was 10. The emptiness the absence of my brothers had created intensified even more the shock I received when I saw the indifferent river separating Mexico from the US. I found it incredible to see the immense change from one side of the river to the other; where one side was clearly filled with more barriers (economically, socially, opportunity wise) that evidently the other side had little presence of. And it was all marked by a simple green sign that read “You are leaving: “and “you are entering:”. I remember looking anxiously if I was metamorphosing into something else, because the kids I saw in Mexico and I saw in the States looked just like any kid, yet lived so differently.

I came to realize that many children did not have fair chances, and it infuriated me. Reasoning that a child must submit to an unfavorable situation with no appeal whatsoever, and whose future is definitely affected by it, has motivated me to want to do something about it and succeeded at it. I may be only one person, but through me there has been a great number of people that may be thousands of miles apart; that may look, speak, dress differently but have a common goal of improving today’s world. People that have planted a little bit of their own, maybe unconsciously, to make a difference. I do not believe that the efforts of one person to better where we are now are in vain. I’ve lived through so many situations and learned immense knowledge that I’ve come to believe, if numerous people have been able to overcome their situations, and even if I’ve been able to overcome those that come in hand with frequent moving and cultural shock, I believe that anything is possible. I believe that one person trying to change the world is not just one person, but thousands. I believe that an “I believe” in someone’s thoughts and goals, is more than just an “I believe”. It’s a powerful tool, that can be the defining point in whether the outcome is success or not.