This I Believe

Elijah - Melbourne Beach, Florida
Entered on November 23, 2006
Age Group: 18 - 30
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Just Believing is Not Enough

As a young boy, I would go to church every Sunday and be surrounded by good people with good beliefs. I was very impressionable and in return began believing their same beliefs such as being kind to others and helping those who are in need of help. As I got older, however, I came to realize something was terribly wrong with our beliefs, for they were only beliefs to us. No one I knew, including me, practiced these beliefs in our own lives, yet as we sat in discussion the topic would always come to how horrible the world is today and how no one helps each other any more. A little over two years ago, I was in the middle of one of these exact discussions when an older gentleman I have only seen a handful of times before stood and asked us all, “If you are all so concerned with the condition of humanity, why don’t you do something about it ?” After he made this statement he promptly walked away with what I saw as pity for all of us. The group was silent for a moment and then just started talking again as if nothing happened; I on the other hand wanted to hear more of what this other man had to say. I quietly excused myself from the group and followed him. When I finally caught up to him I asked “what could we possibly do that will make a difference?” He responded with, “I’m going to go make a difference right now, would you care to join me?” I wanted to go but was apprehensive; after all I did not know this man and he was about fifteen years older than me. Yet I needed to know what kind of a difference he could make on humanity acting only as one man, so I agreed to follow him in my own car. Twenty minutes later we arrived at an old abandoned building. We both got out of our cars and he was carrying a box and as we walked around to the back I noticed two men sitting there against the wall. As we approached these two, men my new friend asked if they were hungry and wanted some food. They graciously accepted his offer and he began to give them canned goods and some basic toiletries such as a razor and shaving cream and toothbrush and toothpaste. That man I met at church showed me how it was possible to change humanity with one person at a time. I believe having beliefs are important, but just believing is not enough. One needs to act on his or her beliefs for them to really mean something. This, I believe.