This I Believe

Edyta - chicago, Illinois
Entered on May 9, 2006
Age Group: 18 - 30
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When I was a little girl I used to spend almost every summer vacation at my grandparents house. I remember hundreds of people coming over to ask my grandpa for something: for advice, for some money, for borrowing a car or any other favor. Sometimes I was really angry because just after grandpa promised me a horse ride or visit to an ice cream store somebody came and we had to change our plans. As I grew up I understood that those unexpected “guests” and voluntary work for the library and fire fighters was my grandpa’s whole life. But what I could not understand was why he was still doing that although some of the people he helped, never gave him back his money, never thanked him, or forgot about him as soon as they get what they wanted.

And when I asked my grandfather once why he was doing that his answer was: “There is nothing lost in nature. Especially the good you serve toward others”. That was his plain and simple life philosophy: all good things you do to others will return to you as a boomerang at the moment and from the people you the least expect to. I had never had a chance to see the feedback for his actions but at the day of his burial something amazing happened. Besides closer and more distant memebers of my family and friends there were a great number of people who my parents and I saw for the first and probably last time in our life.

Since that time I have taken my grandpa’s words close to my heart and I have done my best to instill them to my everyday life. It took me a while to understand them, but now I know that I do not have to hunt for occasions to do some good things. They will find me. Or the people who need me will find me. I just have to keep my eyes open. The important thing is that I do not have to find a cure for Aids, or travel to Cambodia to help poor orphans. Instead, I can donate my blood, volunteer on weekends or give some money to charities from time to time. I can also do shopping for my older neighbor, stop on the busy street to let another driver enter the traffic or baby sit my friends’ daughter when they want to go for a movie.Fortunately until today I have not needed a kidney or marrow donor; I have not had double check if this rule really works. But I do believe it works.

A few weeks ago my car suddenly stopped. The reason: lack of gas. Suddenly a nice older man stopped and offered me help. He drove me to the nearest gas station where I bought some gas and drove me back to my car. I felt very obliged, so I asked him if I could pay him for his time and gas but he refused to take any money. So I asked him if there is anything else I could do for him and he said “Sure. Do the same for somebody else”.

This is what I belive in : in doing unto others as I would have them do unto me.