This I Believe

Samantha - Diamond Bar, California
Entered on April 11, 2007
Age Group: 18 - 30

I’m a Starbucks fanatic. All throughout high school, my friends and I lived for the warm Orange County nights when we could sit on the Starbucks patio and talk for hours about anything and everything. I’ve always noticed and loved the cute, inspirational sayings that are different on each and every Starbucks cup. This past summer, however, one cup caught my eye. “Be the change you wish to see in the world.” This quote, originally by Mahatma Gandhi, finally put words to one of my biggest core beliefs.

While I’ve always lived my life by the good old saying, “Treat people as you wish to be treated,” I’ve always felt that that particular quote was far too cliché and overused. I’ve never quite felt a connection to that ancient saying. When I saw the Starbucks cup this past summer, a switch turned on in my head, and I finally realized what I’d been living by all of my life. The words to this amazing quote repeated themselves over and over again in my head. I took the cup to my friends and we talked about its message for an hour or two.

I went home that night still thinking about my newly-found favorite quote. As I was trying to sleep, I related the quote to everything—from my belief about treating everyone in a respectable manner to my beliefs about the environment. I couldn’t find a subject for which the quote didn’t fit. The environment, war, education, friendliness—it all worked. “Be the change you wish to see in the world.” It’s a sort of call to action, empowering the reader to stand up for what he or she believes in and to actually take part in making a difference. In many instances, we will sit around preaching about things that should or shouldn’t be happening in our world, but take absolutely no actions to promote or prevent these things. In order to make changes in the world, we must first make changes in ourselves.