This I Believe

Emily - Orem, Utah
Entered on May 23, 2007
Age Group: Under 18

Born into disease. Born into poverty. Born into homelessness.. into a world that has no idea of the existence of such distress – or they cruelly choose to ignore it.

Born into health. Born into prosperity. Born into simplicity and ease.. into an environment that honors success and rewards beautiful people.

I believe in raising sufferers. I believe in serving strangers. I believe in lifting hearts.

Being born into a situation doesn’t give one much leeway or choice of the matter, so ideally not much judging should be done on the part of the observer.. who are they to judge something there is no control over. Why am I the one to judge, when those I’m surveying cannot help it? Unfair we say, when someone is born into a life we believe to be easier, with less challenges and troubles. What about those we see as “beneath” us, do they not look up at us and think the same thing?

Africa. A place of complete shortage of necessity and scarcity of luxury.. yet the billions that live there continue to do so without complaint.. why? Sheltered from the corrupted and spoiled world in addition to their acceptance of the situation, these people are faced with their challenges and we with ours. This does not mean we cannot aid them in their struggles, for we were placed amidst our plenty that we may.

A children’s uniform company recently adopted a new style of uniform to be sold to their private school customers. Feeling personally responsible, as I am the model for the new uniforms, I decided to take it upon myself to put the previously used uniforms to good use; They are still in fine condition and cannot be used at the schools after spring. So having just completed the drive at over 18 private elementary schools in Utah, Nevada, and the Bay Area, California, I collected thousands of uniforms in one week alone. I am now in the process of washing and pressing them so they can be in the best possible condition when I personally deliver them to the children of the villages outside Narobi, Kenya on the east coast of Africa this July.

There I will spend over two weeks of my life. Over fourteen days I could spend learning cheers, going out with friends, eating popsicles, and bronzing my skin.. but I wouldn’t trade those 14 days for anything. It is not every day that I get to fly over 20 hours to stay with a people so real they eat food my doctors are cautioning me not even to touch, and survive off of water I’m warned me not to bathe in without Clorox. They know real life, they know what it’s like to struggle and work for a living; they will teach me how to appreciate it while hopefully I make their lives slightly less of a hardship.

It’s not every day one gets to change a life, or thousands. I believe raising them raises me.