This I Believe

Margaret - Western Springs, Illinois
Entered on February 25, 2007
Age Group: Under 18

After a long car ride home this summer, I found a note inside my suitcase that read:

Welcome Home!

Have a good week and see you soon.


Grandma Neu

My family has been exchanging notes for as long as I can remember. Each time before my grandma leaves our house, she leaves a note on my pillow, in addition to my parent’s and siblings’. If anyone in my family goes on a weekend trip or to summer camp, my mom will slip a note into our suitcases to greet us as we unpack at our destination. Though over the years, these notes become an expected token, each one is unique. The time they take to write and personalize the notes is a gift in itself. Some people don’t realize how meaningful it is to open up their suitcase a few hundred miles from home and see that someone is thinking about them. I have kept each note that I’ve received from my family and friends. Though I hardly get a chance to reread these notes, it’s my way of showing appreciation of the time and effort someone took to show me that they cared about me. Even the fact that they try to find some colorful notepad or artistic stationary rather than a ripped sheet of notebook paper makes the note more sentimental.

I believe that the little things in life keep me going. Though some have become methodical, like the notes and oatmeal cookies that come with each of my grandma’s visits, the little things people do for me are what put a smile on my face. Especially during tiresome or frustrating days, any of these modest acts trumps any hindrance I may encounter.

These little things are beneficial whether they are given or received. Sometimes taking the extra time to hold the door for someone at the store, or giving a compliment to a friend, or even a stranger helps me in knowing that I have made another person’s day just a little more pleasurable.

Though the generous presents and big events are nice to look forward to, they are rare occurrences. Instead, people do little things for me each day to acknowledge me and show me that they care about me. With each day come little surprises that stay with me for years to come. Ironically enough, the givers of these sometimes don’t realize how big of an impact it will have on those who receive it.

The note my grandma wrote me this summer probably took seconds to compose; however, it is not the amount of time it takes someone to make a difference, but the fact that they take the time to do this.

I believe in the little things in life. I believe that they supply the foundation for happiness in my everyday life and give me something to appreciate in my life. And, I believe that doing a little thing for someone else can give me even more satisfaction than receiving one.