This I Believe

Joseph - Olathe, Kansas
Entered on October 24, 2006
Age Group: Under 18
  • Podcasts

    Sign up for our free, weekly podcast of featured essays. You can download recent episodes individually, or subscribe to automatically receive each podcast. Learn more.

  • FAQ

    Frequently asked questions about the This I Believe project, educational opportunities and more...

  • Top Essays USB Drive

    This USB drive contains 100 of the top This I Believe audio broadcasts of the last ten years, plus some favorites from Edward R. Murrow's radio series of the 1950s. It's perfect for personal or classroom use! Click here to learn more.

Imagine this. You have to pick rat bones out of an owl pellet, but it’s okay because you don’t have to do it all by yourself. You hear who else is in your group and you move over to where your station is. You feel good about this assignment because one of the other people in your group is supposedly really smart. As soon as the materials are handed out, however, you know that you’re going to have to be do all the work yourself if you want an A.

Well, that’s exactly what happened to me back in seventh grade when part of the curriculum was dissecting owl pellets. I was stuck doing everything on the paper while the other two people in my group sat around doing nothing. A few days into the assignment and I was about ready to yell at my group that they needed to do something, anything, which would help with the assignment. Once we’re really into the lab, I’m late to my next hour every day because I have to clean up all the materials used. We finally reach the end of the assignment, and I’m extremely relieved that I don’t have to work with these two buffoons any more.

It was at that point that I decided while you can rely on people some of the time, you have to rely on yourself for a lot of the time. Don’t get me wrong, I think that sometimes it can be highly appropriate to just sit back and let other people do the work; about ten percent of the time. The other ninety percent of the time you need to step in and do something to help out the team. I’m not saying you have to be the one in charge, but if you just speak up and say, “Hey, I think we need to do this,” your teammates will thank you for it.

Also, you may be the other way around and are the one that just sits back and lets everyone else do the work. Once the work is submitted, you aren’t able to do anything to help and when the work comes back you might have negative feedback on the items. This is another example where you needed to take matters into your hands and tell how you wanted the project to go. That is what I believe. I believe that people need to help each other out instead of letting everyone else do the work because if everyone let other people do the work, nothing will ever get done.