This I Believe

Kate - Portland, Oregon
Entered on January 3, 2007
Age Group: 18 - 30
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Things I Knew When I Was Five

I spent twenty two years of my life being told what to believe.. My parents, teachers and professors, mentors, friends, and confidants all had their own agenda for what I should be, who I should be, and what I should be doing with my life. After several years having fits of rage, crying uncontrollably and hating where I was, I woke up one day last year and decided that I had enough. I realized I didn’t want to be a doctor, an interior designer, a journalist or a psychologist. I was at a loss for what it was I wanted to be, but I certainly knew one thing: I finally believed in me. The rest just fell into place.

It’s amazing to me that I have same beliefs today that I did when I was just a little kid. When I was in kindergarten, I was given the opportunity to “adopt” a manatee from a wildlife activism group with my class. We collected funds and sent in the paper work, and they sent us a package with a picture of the manatee we had saved. I knew from that day that I wanted to work with animals. My logic has changed a bit, but my convictions and beliefs remain the same.

I believe I was put on this planet to save the animals. I have many passions in my life, but none as strong as my belief that the planet’s animals need a voice to speak for them, as they cannot speak for themselves. I have been told that this is a far fetched dream, and that most people who believe they can make a difference in the world will not succeed. I am not most people. I believe I can.

I believe that all the creatures on the planet, and in the universe, are created equal. We are all part of this world and deserve respect and an equal share. I do not see a difference between a child and a mouse, or a woman and her dog. We are all living, breathing, and created for the sole purpose of co-existing on this planet together.

I believe that I have an ability to connect with animals far beyond most humans. I see them in a way that most people would not understand. I see the dolphins as peers, for they are as intelligent as humans. I see lions as royalty, as their mere presence commands respect. I think that house cats are the world’s comedians, because they always make you laugh. I feel dogs are our best friends, unconditionally. I believe that if the rest of the people in this world saw creatures as I do, we would live in a more peaceful place.

I believe that animals have a healing power far beyond man’s scope of reason and science. I had almost given up on myself by January of 2005. I had suffered emotionally and struggled far more than I ever thought I would have to in my short life. I received a phone call mid- January about an application I have sent in to an animal rescue group to foster cats and kittens, and was asked to take in a litter of three. My life took a turn for the better that day. I suddenly had confidence in myself, and I was laughing and having fun, which I had not experienced in far too long. I believe that these three little orange kittens I had taken home with me practically saved my life.

I believe I knew exactly what I was meant to do with my life when I was five years old. I believe that it was necessary for me to experience different paths over the last few years with school to make sure I was following the right path. I believe that I will make a difference in this world for the animals, because I believe in me.