This I Believe

Gavin - Moraga, California
Entered on January 3, 2007
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.

I’ve cried twice in the last two days. Am I less of a man for it?

I am.

But not for crying. I’ve cried twice in the last two days for two different reasons: once from empathy for a starving Ugandan child who watched his best friend be murdered by kidnappers, and once for time, and for money.

I got in a car accident today; it was no big deal, just a fender bender; but still, it shook me up. As I was talking to my dad on the phone, I realized that all it came down to was time and money, and not even my time or money: my parents’. I cried more for time and money than I did for the death of a starving child’s friendship.

Our society cries more for the loss of time and money than for the death of a child’s friendship.

We all see Sally Struthers ask us to “feed the children,” and she shows us pictures of tapeworms the length of a football field, and children whose ribs are as defined as my fingers. We cry for them, but we don’t give them our time or our money.

I am less of a man for not giving my time, and my money.

I am not mature enough to face problems on a global scale: I am so inwardly focused that I cannot see the suffering of others in the same light that I see my own.

Our society cannot see the suffering of others in the same light as we see our own.

Because I don’t see it does not mean it doesn’t exist: the problems I shirk today will still be problems tomorrow, and I’ll be no more ready to deal with them.

Being a man is about understanding these problems and addressing them, without regard for one’s self: This, I Believe.