This I Believe

Cassandra - North York, Ontario Canada
Entered on March 27, 2007
Age Group: Under 18

When we are children, we are impatient; grasping; furious when our wants are not met. We do not know the meaning of waiting. We want our dessert before our vegetables, we demand things from our parents and friends, and when we are denyed things we throw a temper tantrum.

I believe that as we grow older and learn of the needs of others and to be selfless, that the one trait we must learn is to endure. When we are young, we are blind to the needs of our peers; when we are older, we have to learn to help others and to sacrifice. Community is the most important thing we can learn. The weak cannot hold pride and refuse help, and the strong must offer up their assistances in any way. We all go through times in which we are strong, but there are also times in which we are weak.

I believe our society feeds off addiction and selfishness. I believe that to endure is disregarded as foolish. But I still believe. When I was in grade six two boys, who I had considered my friends, assaulted me. They saw what they wanted, and they took it. I tried speaking to a teacher who told me that I had probably provoked the boys and that I should stop looking for attention.

I failed to endure, and I retreated within myself. I was one of the first girls to hit puberty, and I blamed my body for the assault. I developed an unhealthy relationship with food. The sugar rush was comforting, and when food is so closely linked with family and friends, it helped soothe the isolation. My family offered me hands of help, concerned with the changes in my behavior, but I was afraid to accept. I withdrew into online games, because no one could see my face, and it was more comforting to be judged by imaginary terms rather than the real life ones I had lapsed badly in.

The only way I could recover was by enduring through the fear and pain to admit what had happened to me, to seek therapy, to fix what had happened. I had tried to hide from my family and from those who had loved me most, and the link in the community had been damaged. Damaged, but not broken, because I was accepted back with open arms.

When I fell, it was not a God who picked me up, or belief in something greater than I. Recovery could only start when I removed my pride and extended my hand out to my community. I had to be patient. I had to be selfless. But I also had to recover, and selfishly hoarding my fears and pain inside me only alienated those who loved me. I believe in endurance, and in the strength of self. I believe in forgoing pride for the good of others, no matter who you are or where you are in life. I believe in myself.