This I Believe

Danielle - Brownsburg, Indiana
Entered on February 6, 2007
Age Group: 18 - 30

Has there ever been an event in your life that changed your whole personality? I had no idea that I was an uncaring and reserved person, but one very small event changed a very big aspect in my life.

Last month an overly obese old woman came into my place of work, Pizza Hut, for the Sunday afternoon buffet. The first thing I thought as she sat down was ‘She definitely shouldn’t be eating pizza’. She was one of those people who when I asked what she wanted to drink, she proceeded to tell me her whole life story. I had four other tables at the time so I was getting pretty annoyed with this lady. Since she couldn’t establish a connection with me, she sought out for the attention of Brenda, our very Christian 40 year old waitress with a heart of gold. After they had finished their conversation, the woman left and as I went to clean off her table, a nice ten-dollar bill was smiling up at me from her pile of dirty plates. Underneath was a note saying: “Here’s some gas money sweetie, good luck in everything you do”. The lump started to form in my throat and I was forced to swallow it as Brenda came up behind me. “That poor woman” she said. “She just found out she has cancer and her husband of forty years just left her for a younger woman.” My heart was pounding as I bowed my head with extreme guilt.

I had treated her like nothing, like she didn’t matter. The feeling I had that day was nothing I had ever felt before. I felt saved and enlightened from my mistake of mistreating her. It made me think, do people perceive me as a mean person? Since that day I have changed my way of thinking about others. She taught be a valuable lesson. I believe strongly in having a good heart.

Well you see, in my journey in having/believing in having a good heart, I realized that in order to have a kind heart, I have to accept my own faults and overlook others’. I soon discovered, after watching those around me that I didn’t have to go out of my way to have a good heart, it was the small things I could do to make a difference. My goal is now to give that extra little effort in making someone’s day a little bit better.

Perhaps this woman was sent to me to give me the message on the way I was treating others was wrong. I don’t know her name, I hardly know anything about her, but what I do know is that this single woman who may think she has no purpose in life anymore changed me so much for the better. To this day, I still patiently watch the door at Pizza Hut, waiting to thank the woman who changed my whole outlook on how to treat the people around me.