This I Believe

Emily - fairfield, Connecticut
Entered on May 31, 2007
Age Group: Under 18
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The Power of People

“Whoever is spared of personal pain must feel himself called to help in diminishing the pain of others.” This compelling quote by Albert Schweitzer states an important message that many of us do not experience during their own existence. I, on the other hand, understand Albert Schweitzer’s philosophy. From my short time on earth, I have come to an understanding to never underestimate the power I have to make a difference in someone else’s life. This I believe. I believe that the greatest gratification in life is the gratification you receive after helping others.

I stumbled upon this belief this past summer, during a trip that I took with my youth group to Casa Hogar, an orphanage in the southern part of Mexico, in a state called Oaxaca. This part of Mexico is poverty-stricken. I remember getting off the plane and the first thing I saw was a man driving a team of oxen on the dirt roads. I had never seen anything like this is my life. The poverty in Oaxaca is so overwhelming that most people do not notice its beauty. At the orphanage there are nearly eighty children living there. From the second I arrived at the Casa Hogar and saw the children up close, this unexplainable feeling of elation took over me. The children are waiting at the doors of the bus to greet us and help us with our luggage. For the week that we were there, we became those children’s family. This was truly a life changing experience for me. Knowing that you are the reason children are smiling is one of the most remarkable feelings in the world.

I can only speak from my experience that helping others truly does change ones outlook on life. I think that it is important to help others, whether it is done to benefit yourself or another. Whatever the reasoning, it is personally important for me to help out the underprivileged. When I contribute to my community, it makes me question how important the little things in life are.

I believe in the importance of helping out, for the sake of others. I have learned to swallow my selfishness and tom emphasize with the needs of others. Sure, I have those days when I want everything to be about me, but then I think about all the impoverished children at Casa Hogar. What they would give to be as fortunate as I? The greatest gratification in life is the gratification received after one helps others. This I believe.