This I Believe

Cameron - Charlotte, North Carolina
Entered on September 7, 2006
Age Group: Under 18
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“Society, my dear, is like salt water, good to swim in but hard to swallow.” (Arthur Stringer, “The Silver Poppy”) Today in life people have few things they can really be sure of. In this day of age we often can’t say much for certain, but what we can say, that man has the ability to do good even, when you have nothing, you have something and that is the good which you have to give.

At the age of eight years old I got lost in a huge shopping mall. Just like a little hamster being taken out of its cage, I was scared to death of the new world around me. After passing tons of people in the mall, an old homeless man that approached me and asked me if I needed help. I being young and naive at the age of eight, unknowing of the rules regarding talking to strangers, I told him I had lost my way and couldn’t find my mom. He then took my hand and walked me to the customer service desk, where the mall employees paged my mom on the speakers in the store. After my mom arrived, the relief she felt, showed as she picked me up, holding me high in the air and then giving me a huge bear hug. She then noticed the man that had helped me, she felt so grateful and surprised; she offered to pay him, after seeing that clearly he was lacking finical stability. The man said, “No” and turned down the offer and said, “I myself have a fortune which is of that in good.”

As a time past though, and I grew older one day it finally dawned on me, the understandment of the homeless man and the seriousness of the situation. It never came to my mind in till now that; I could have been kidnapped, molested, or even worse, killed, that day. It just seems that in this day of age we appear to be so scared of the things and people we don’t know, that we never allow our self’s to see the good. Those thoughts just didn’t come to my mind then for I was young, and my mind was blank slate. But now as I look back I see how corrupted our minds have become as we fear, and judge people and objects. I can honestly say if that same man approached me now I would probably run and tell the police, but with this I ask the question can’t we all just be good, and see each other as I did, those years when I was young, naive and only eight. Can’t we just do what we can and be as good of people as possible?

I drew a number of thoughts from this and it all lead me to completely change my way of thinking. Now I try my best to be a good person and think about the good that I can do. In a way I feel I must kind of return the same favor, which the man in the mall did for me. With this though, I have found myself being a happier person and wondering what would happen if others also started helping out, making life better for all of us.