This I Believe

Bryce - Carrollton, Texas
Entered on September 8, 2006
Age Group: Under 18
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As a member of the Creekview High School Band, I go inside the school and outside on the field many times a day because we rehearse inside as well as outside. Usually I have my snare drum on, so opening the door is sometimes difficult. On occasion, someone has already gone past the threshold of the door. If they are not already holding the door open, I politely ask them to. If I were in the other person’s shoes, I wouldn’t have needed to be asked. I believe in holding the door open.

Holding the door open may seem like a small gesture, but it only takes several seconds of my time to let the person know that I can help. One time when band rehearsal ended and I tiredly trudged up to the door, I heard behind me the great rattling and banging of a xylophone. I quickly head for the door and opened it to let both the huge xylophone and the distressed person pushing it in. The look of gratitude and relief combined with the simple “thank you” uttered from his/her lips satisfied me to know that I improved someone’s day.

Considering the minute amount of time it takes to hold the door open, I wonder why more people do not do it. Out of the average sixteen hours a person is awake, it only takes a fraction of that time to simply hold a door open for a person. Almost every time, the person will say thank you. I believe it makes me feel as good as it does for the other person. I believe it is one of the few scenarios that a human being actually means it when they say “thank you.” I can even hear the sincerity in one’s voice.

I am amazed at how little politeness there is today. If I accidentally bump into someone in the hall, or step on someone’s foot, I apologize quickly for my mistake. If someone bumped me, not one word is said. I believe that by simply holding the door open, I spread politeness that causes a chain reaction of politeness. The person who went through the door realizes how much better they felt when they were helped, so they help someone else by picking up dropped papers. The paper-dropper sees the light as well, and compliments someone on his or her appearance. The chain continues and many people feel better for the day. This does not occur every time I hold the door open, but I like to think this when I do it.

I believe in holding the door open. I believe in making a small gesture to make someone’s day a little bit better. I believe that holding the door open improves my day as well as the others. I believe in apologizing for my clumsy mistakes. I believe that politeness will return, one door at a time.