This I Believe

Kim - Austin, Texas
Entered on February 13, 2007
Age Group: 18 - 30
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I believe in people. It is no doubt that people are unique creatures. We build skyscrapers, race to the depths of the seas then to the solstice of the galaxies. We teach, we talk, and we learn. But it is not for those reasons do I believe. Now nineteen years of age, I am finally gathering the strength to take on challenges of what grade school students often refer to as the ‘real world’. Along with it I have found myself down trodden and at times hopeless because of the cut-and-dry and on occasion ruthless ways of reality. For a while I felt lost, fearful of never being able to find my way out of this seemingly dark world I graduated into. Luckily the wonderful, intelligent, out-spoken people – controversial filmmakers, writers, teachers, and family – that have made it possible of me to see how the epic question of Good verses Evil is weaved into our everyday lives.

When some hotshot sports car or absurdly large SUV comes up past you at the speed of light just to squeeze into that wedge of space in front of you, what is your first reaction? With a long day behind you and long line of cars in front of you, chances are you are too caught up in your own agony so you take it personally. You may instantly judge and long to retaliate. Consumed with your own agenda you may not even care enough to notice the car to you right has had their blinker on for the past five minutes wanting to get into your lane. Not often do we give a stranger in the car lined up next to us a genuine smile let alone the benefit of the doubt that he or she may be respectable person and had no intention to offend. Unfortunately for some the city life, fear of the unknown and hearing or witnessing cruelty has tainted the goodness of our hearts. I too am guilty. As many of us have been told before, you control your actions; therefore only you can decide whether you should or shouldn’t retaliate, or whether you should take the ten seconds to let a car over. For me, the saying still stands strong, after all you only get as much as you put in. I am gradually learning.

But, why should traffic and one’s assumptions ignite such negatively passionate emotions such as rage, anger and even hate? This daily hassle is nothing compared to our world’s history: the massacre of thousands of Trojans for a woman; the burning of a race not blonde and blue eyed for ultimate power over the world; the murder of Indians for fertile land; the hanging, burning, and slaughter of men, women and children of color by men robbed in the angelic color of white – ironically enough – for this misunderstood idea of honor and power. It is tragic how we become so numb to each other by building fences and wall. It is also awful how our heart races for the most mundane things like how far is my property line so I don’t end up doing my neighbor a favor and cut his grass for him, or how much less should I tip the waitress because she gave my boyfriend more eye contact than me. Although less tip and road rage does not necessarily make a person evil, it still is not an act out of goodness and kindness.

Ultimately, it does not matter which divine pole we will end up at, or how successful one’s money has measured him or her to be. Nor does matter how much we have paid to society. What life should be about are you and me. Defined by the decisions we have made and what we say and do, in the end your decision to act – either based on the goodness within you or the evil temptation – is our biggest contribution to our community, our world, and for generations to come. I feel it is my duty to pass on this epiphany or at least remind people what they are capable of, the power to change and mold the world and one another. In people I believe.