This I Believe

Pavel - Briarcliff, New York
Entered on June 1, 2007
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: morality
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It was just another ordinary morning at the gym. As I was making my way through the weight room a shiny object lying by the foot of a bench caught my eye. I walked over to the object and picked it up, and it turned out to be a chain with a small pendant of a winged foot attached. I quite liked the thing and considered keeping it, although I knew it would be wrong, but its worn and sentimental look gave me the impression of something important, so instead I decided to seek out its owner.

In the greater scheme of things this probably seems like an insignificant decision, but I believe it is the little things that count. In the infinite ocean of the universe, we have so little control over the events that occur around us that the best way for us to make a difference is by doing the little things. We will never understand how big of a difference a simple smile, a hug, a pat-on-the-back, or a kind word can make, and perhaps this is part of the magic of the universe. The tiniest, most insignificant things are capable of having unbelievably important consequences.

At seventeen years old I can’t pretend that I know the keys to life, but I can say with confidence that I find the most satisfaction, purpose, and meaning in doing the little things, the little mundane actions that add up to a much bigger picture. We are rain drops in the sea, but I take comfort in knowing that although I cannot change the flow of the tides, by focusing on the little things I do not always have to swim against them. Instead I can just flow through life, and find happiness in the little accomplishments and miracles of the day; in the setting sun, and a cool breeze, in my friends, and in my family. I believe that if I let the waves of life carry me through the days they will bring me to places I could never have imagined, as long as I try to make the right choices along the way.

It took me a few minutes to find the man to whom the chain belonged. As I handed it to him I could see his eyes fill up with emotion. And it was at that moment, as I watched disbelief, happiness, and appreciation etch themselves across careworn features of his face, that I realized just how important the little things can be, and that there is no action or decision without consequence. It turned out that I had made the right choice. The chain had belonged to the man’s late sister.