This I Believe

Ethan - Springville, Utah
Entered on September 27, 2006
Age Group: Under 18
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Tomatoes.

One personal concern I have is that we need to pay more attention to the tomato crops. I have a rather sour memory of McDonald’s refusing to give me a tomato on a hamburger I bought. I was infuriated. I wasted my time waiting in line for some lousy sandwich; I could have simply gone to Burger King across the street and had that much more time during lunch break to myself.

And do you know what the worst part was? Just because my two-dollar sandwich did not have a tomato in it, the rest of my day was ruined. I had a bad attitude. I spent the rest of the day worrying about me, me, me, boobing and whining about whatever, who cares anymore. So I went home, sulked into the couch and turned the news on. The usual was reported, some car crash, a store robbery, but what caught my attention a few minutes later was the second hurricane that hit southeastern states. Demolished homes, destroyed families, ruined crops were scattered all across the shore.

I felt a knot in my stomach, looking back on my day. Here I was worrying about such trivial problems while others were losing their lives. It was that day I learned that human beings have a wonderful power: to worry. To worry about how the weather will be, to worry whether or not if the iron was turned off, to worry if our shoes match our outfit. Maybe we spend a little too much time worrying about ourselves, as I had spent that afternoon. After I stood up legs sore, mind racing, I set out to do something about this tragedy. I may not have organized help for the shattered cities, nor sent help to the homeless, nor given a notable sum of money to charitable groups, but I simply changed my attitude.

This I believe, when worrying about others rather than ourselves, it’s then we make a difference. On this principle the needy are taken care of, the sick are tended to, we mourn with those who mourn. In doing this comes a joy to both recipient and giver, knowing a sister, brother, neighbor has been cared for just because our concern was directed elsewhere. To this day, I search for those in need, someone who has a burden, or simply needs someone else to talk to. And to this day, I still often refuse the tomato on my hamburger.