This I Believe

Hannah - Irvine, California
Entered on June 15, 2006
Age Group: Under 18
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I believe in the inherent goodness of people. So what? People have some bad qualities that make you mad and angry but from what I have experienced their good qualities counteract the bad. You know when your in a line for a hot-dog or anything and your just a penny or nickel short and the person behinds you gives you that penny or nickel you need, that is what I call the inherent goodness of people.

I have had occasion after occasion to experience the good in people. Most times when they didn’t know others were watching. I believe that is extremely special in a person, a person who can do something good for themselves and not have to be praised for it.

Back to my story, I have brother 5-years older then me who has Down syndrome. In addition to Down syndrome, Nick has a condition called Apraxia, which means that he cannot verbalize so he uses ASL to communicate. Not everyone knows ASL so this makes it very hard for him to communicate what he wants.

Well, several years back, we went to a neighborhood pool, Nick had left to go on a waterslide. On his way back, he must decided that he was hungry and stopped at the concession stand. My nanny, brother, and I couldn’t find him anywhere! We looked everywhere until I saw him sitting at a table with hotdogs, chips, and a coke. I asked him, “Nick where did you get that??”And he laughed. So I went over to the concessions person and he said, “Oh don’t worry about it- it’s on me today.”

This perfect stranger didn’t know Nick and just exhibited a random act of kindness that made Nicks whole day light up. He got a free meal!

Just recently, I moved to California from Minnesota. Going from such a small state to the California was a huge change by itself. Everything was different, including the gas pumps. My first week in California I was driving around what you can say ‘touring’ Irvine, California. I realized I didn’t have enough gas to make it home so I stopped at the nearest gas station. I got out and paid with my credit card. Everything was going fine until it got to the part of putting gas into my tank. The pumps were so much different in Minnesota. I tried sticking it in but the rubber part kept bouncing back at me. I looked around exhaustless because I was trying for at least 5 minutes. I was about to go and ask for help when a man came over he said, “I see your out of state (because of the license plates) do you want me to help you.” I was so grateful of this man I didn’t know teaching and helping me put my gas in my car.

As I try and now live every day as my last. I exhibit as much kindness as I can to strangers. This is what makes me feel best about myself about life in general. I absolutely love seeing complete strangers exhibit random acts of kindness. Forever I will always believe that everyone has goodness in them. This keeps me going- knowing that life is beautiful.