This I Believe

Nicholas - Sandy Hook, Connecticut
Entered on May 13, 2007
Age Group: Under 18

What comes first in modern society; benefiting oneself or the other’s around? This thought came to me shortly after the horrific Columbine school shooting occurred on April 22, 1999. Only ten years of age at the time, I vividly remember reading an article in People Magazine, interviewing a mother whose daughter had been killed in Columbine High School by the shooters. What astounded me the most about the story was that only years prior to the historic school shooting, the mother and daughter had a horrible relationship with one another, getting into fights for the silliest of reasons and refusing to talk for long periods of time. Although the mother always loved her daughter, she didn’t know how to voice her feelings at this troublesome time in their lives. However, things soon changed at the end of the teenager’s high school career. The mother and daughter looked passed their disagreements and began to appreciate one another.

The day that the shooting occurred, the mother and daughter went about their daily routine, and as the girl left for school, the mother made sure to kiss her goodbye and say, “I love you.” Little did she know that the parting phrase would be the last words she ever uttered to her child. Although she was devastated about the final outcome of that day, the one bit of light that kept her going from one day to the next was the fact that she and her daughter had gotten through the hard times, finding a affirmative outcome at the end of a rough journey.

Just as the mother discovered, I believe that every human being should take time to cherish their family and friends because every day brings about something new. Whether a change for the better or for the worse, I always make it a point to appreciate those around me for tomorrow could be the last time I’d ever see them. The story told above always got to me because I wondered what the outcome would be if the mother and daughter hadn’t looked passed their differences and stayed enemies? What would have been the mother’s last parting words to her daughter in this case? Would she still have told her how much she loved her or kept the words inside hoping her daughter would understand that she would always stand behind and support her?

I only felt it appropriate to highlight on such a topic because weeks prior, the events that occurred on April 22, 1999 seemed to relapse on the Virginia Tech Campus. Once again, I went back to the trustworthy People Magazine, opening up to an article about the Seung-Hui Cho, the shooter. The first person to described Cho stated that he was very lonely. What would have the outcome been if the college student was appreciated early on in life? This only goes to show the true power that human bonds and relationships have on people.