This I Believe

Nicole - Glendale, Wisconsin
Entered on May 29, 2007
Age Group: Under 18
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Making the Difference

I believe every little thing we do makes a difference. Maybe we do not directly see it or perhaps we just have to search deeper to find it, but the distinction is there. From carrying groceries for a stranger to even the simplest things like smiling at the new kid-all of it matters. Our actions not only shape who we are but also who others may become. Most people take their actions for granted, thinking what they do is not important. These people are wrong. On numerous occasions, my actions affected others far greater than I ever thought could be imaginable.

Approximately two months ago, I waited on an elderly lady at the restaurant where I work. She came in alone towards the end of the night. As I sat her, I thought of how vulnerable she looked, so skinny and frail. I remember her tired eyes watching every table waited on. Watching, but not saying a word. I made a point to smile every time I walked past her, stopping every once in awhile to strike a friendly conversation. I figured she was just lonely and wanted someone to talk to. I was right. She eventually started to tell me how her husband had recently passed and how lonely her days had become. She said it was nice to meet a person who cared. I did not think what I did was a big deal, but to her, I think it was.

It makes me wonder what it was like for my grandpa. He past away about two years ago. Looking back, I realize I was not exactly the best grandkid. Whenever he came to visit, I always made a point to go out with my friends, just so I would not have to listen to some old war story repeated for the thousandth time. Now I realize that maybe he just did not know how else to communicate with me. I always had a barrier up, some force field I did not want him to break. Maybe if I would have listened to his stories and even shared some of my own, I would not feel so guilty. Maybe he would have been a happier person if I had taken the thirty minutes out of my precious day to talk to him about something he cared about. It could have made all the difference.

I believe it takes a serious event to make us realize that our actions do have an effect. Upon realizing that, we start to mature. We start to go out of our way to make other people lead a happier life. After all, does bringing someone else down really bring you up? Reaching beyond the selfish way in which children live is a gigantic stepping-stone. For some, the stretch is far and may take a couple of attempts to reach. But once reached, I believe that the person realizes how insignificant he is to the rest of the world, but how much potential he has to better it.

Everyday I have a goal. I try to make people happier because happiness is hard to achieve due to the constant pressure we undergo. I do this partially by giving compliments, which go a long way. They make people smile and give them confidence to succeed. I believe if more people did this, we would not be so afraid to be ourselves. People would even actually care about one another. After all, our actions make a difference, and maybe if people started to realize this, this world would be a happier, more fulfilling place to live.