This I Believe

David - Bloomington, Minnesota
Entered on September 8, 2006
Age Group: 18 - 30
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This I Believe

Many of my beliefs are vague. Many are constantly changing. I could write about those, how an instant grabbed me and changed my ways forever. But one thing has always been consistent. One thing has always stood out pure and true and never changes. This is my belief that people cannot only care for themselves. Survival, to me, depends on the cooperation of humans, depends on a kind of teaching system in which everyone can further themselves by using their own experiences to help others, and therefore learn from others as well. It is our duty to help those in need.

For a couple years I went through a stage of depression. It is somewhat hard for any depressed or ex-depressed person to explain exactly how it feels or felt, but in my case (as I think it is different, if only slightly, for everyone) it involved a whole lot of feelings of utter helplessness. I unfortunately did not really talk with anyone about it, and only very fortunately was able to get through on my own. But I learned from it. I learned from my journey out of depression that I was lucky and that not everybody can do it alone. And from then on I have devoted hours at a time whenever they are needed to various friends (and sometimes simple acquaintances) who are experiencing the same helplessness. It takes time; and believe me it takes patience and effort. Sometimes things need to be repeated. Sometimes no progress is made in two hours of talking. But if I can convince a person that they have more around them than they can see, more to live for than they think, then I am completely assured of my beliefs on this subject.

I have learned the hard way that people trying to help others do not always get the credit that feels so good, and sometimes are even blamed or yelled at just for trying to help. It’s painful, however it is no reason to feel discouraged. Regardless of the outcome, if you try your best to help a person in need, whether through physical acts, or with just a talk when they feel they have no one at all, chances are it helps, whether or not you have the opportunity to see the act come to fruition.

I told a counselor at a Christian camp once that I sometimes wished I believed in a God, just so I could have someone to count on, someone to talk to whenever I needed it. But even for those of us who don’t believe in a definite something Bigger, by helping each other out we can make it through anything, and learn for ourselves in the process. Share your experience with others. This I Believe.