This I Believe

Catherine - Kent, Washington
Entered on April 23, 2007
Age Group: Under 18

It’s incredible how an eight-and-a-half by eleven inch sheet of paper can be the highlight of my day. I absolutely love getting letters from my friends, even if they’re just a few words long. As crazy as it sounds, I believe that the simplest things in life can bring you the most joy. Maybe I’m just easily amused, but for me, it’s the little things that mean the most.

I remember in junior high, the exciting new thing to do was pass notes. My best friends were experts at this. They would always write letters bursting with color and overflowing with heart-dotted “i”s and mini images of our adventurous weekends spent together. Right after a ridiculously boring class, one of them would unexpectedly catch me in the hall and hand me a neatly folded note. It’s the best feeling knowing someone was thinking of you and cared enough to write you a message.

Sometimes it’s mindless. A person will do something just because it’s in their nature. Whether they’re defending me or just complimenting my style, it’s a simple act that can mean the world; one of those “nothings” that means a whole lot of “something”. It lets me know that someone really does care. I believe everyone has this amazing power to completely turn someone’s terrible day into a great one.

A smile is another perfect example. Just the other day, I was feeling horrible; I had a pounding headache, I was stressed about upcoming tests, and I was exhausted to the point where it was a struggle just to keep my eyes open. I was feeling like the lowest of the low. It was then that one of my friends saw me in the hall, giving me a genuine, ear-to-ear smile and an enthusiastic wave while shouting “Hey Catherine!” That’s all it took to make me snap out of my negative frame of mind. Things like this really make me believe there’s more power behind a small act of kindness than anything else.

When someone bakes me brownies for my birthday or gives me a hug for no reason, it is unbelievable how that can make me feel. It’s a rush of happiness. Whatever was going wrong before doesn’t matter anymore because in an instant, someone managed to make me feel good. Just by taking a few minutes or even seconds to gladly show some act of kindness or prepare something nice for someone, the person will be given ten times the happiness receiving it than you had making it.

These basic occurrences can happen anywhere and come from anything or anyone. That’s part of what makes them so great. It’s the feeling you get when the sun finally breaks through the clouds on a gloomy day, revealing blue skies and a warm temperature. I believe all of these little things should be appreciated because when it comes down to it, they’re what make life worth living.