This I Believe

Courtney - East Jordan, Michigan
Entered on November 1, 2006
Age Group: Under 18

The Power Of Giving

For as long as I can remember, my parents have taught me to be a giver. To help people without expecting anything in return, and to be nice to everyone, especially those who aren’t nice back. Through their actions, they have demonstrated that if I give, good things will happen to me. This is why I believe in giving more than I ever expect to get in return.

Giving to others has always given me greater pleasure than receiving. I love to give gifts to others for special holidays and at times when there isn’t a defined purpose. The joy I gain giving to others almost has a selfish motive. I especially love to give gifts to others who are less fortunate than myself. To see that joy on their face, and to know I made their day is, one of the best feelings in the world.

Even better than giving a gift, is doing something for someone. Selfless acts of kindness often have the most meaning. Giving someone a hug, shooting them a smile, or just saying “hello” can make a persons day. Having the ability to do that makes me smile from ear, to ear. I can remember a time, on the way back from a Youth Advisory Committee meeting in St. Ignace, being in a car with two adults and one other student. The boy sitting next to me told us a story about paying for a stranger to cross the Mackinaw Bridge. He said that he and his family gave the person at the booth an extra $2.50, and told them to pay for the next person that came through. It seemed like such a simple act, a random act of kindness. I smiled and told him just that.

Without discussion, the four of us in the car pitched in, and gave the lady at the booth extra money, kindly asking her to pay for the person following us. She asked us if the car was traveling with us, or if we were related. We simply told her “no” and pulled away. The car managed to pull up next to us; the couple in the front seat smiled and waved telling us “thank you”. This simple and unsolicited act made their day as well as mine.

Whenever I give to someone else whether it is a friend, family member, or complete stranger, I feel like I have done a wonderful thing. I truly get more satisfaction and joy from giving than I do from getting. Knowing that I can make people happy is the greatest gift I could ever get. I believe I shouldn’t ever expect to get anything in return for what I give, instead, I should give all that I have, and be grateful just to see the smile on someone else’s face.