This I Believe

Melissa - Hoffman Estates, Illinois
Entered on May 18, 2007
Age Group: 18 - 30

This I Believe. I believe that Loving people is a life changing experience. Ever since I was younger, I have always had a passion for loving people and serving them to the best of my ability. I have been changed and affected by the hearts of those I have served. It took a missions trip to Guatemala to show me the true meaning of joy without material possessions. When I was a freshman in high school, I went with other students from my church to Guatemala. Guatemala is a beautiful country, but like many others, a large majority of it is in poverty. Here we cemented and worked alongside people who live in a completely different world than I do. We cemented the majority of the time, but were able to experience the area by venturing to areas where people were living in tin shacks. It was there that I saw children living in sewage with huge smiles on their faces and child-like faith. They needed nothing because they were joyful. Here children were eating food with bugs and worms in them because their economic status would not permit them otherwise. They lived without the luxuries we have like running water, cars, television, yet they were happier and more satisfied with life than we were. As we entered a few of the homes, they offered us food and other objects they owned. This act was astonishing for me because they were willing to give up the little food they had. They valued conversation and serving others, instead of the material things we tend to place as more important. I was shown compassion and love from people who had absolutely nothing. This trip taught me the importance of joy and passion. I want to make a difference in the world. I believe that we as humans can make our world a better place by loving others and serving them. Not only could we change the way our schools, neighborhoods, and workplaces look, but relationships. If we put others before ourselves and went out of our way to do a simple act, it can change a person’s life. A smile can brighten a day. I believe in living simply, passionately, and purposefully. We are all beautifully crafted for a purpose and it should be our goal to use our gifts and talents for making our world a better place. I cling to these beliefs that I hope I will have forever.