This I Believe

Rachel - Santa Monica, California
Entered on July 8, 2007
Age Group: Under 18
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My goal in life is to be active. Politically, physically, environmentally, and one day, even sexually. People get so overwhelmed in what they want to do, or what they wish they could do. Time is spent thinking about what can’t be done instead of how to do it. I believe in action.

But not just any type of action. I believe in doing things that are bigger than ourselves. One of the things that makes me happy—that gives my life some sort of purpose, is doing something out of the ordinary. And nowadays, anything besides herding along like a little sheep next to every other citizen in our normal lives is out of the ordinary.

Since the sixth grade when I learned about the condition our earth is in, I’ve wanted to help the solution—to reduce human impact and pollution in the environment. I winced every time a truck belched black smoke on the freeway or when I saw trash in our gutters, and I talked about doing something about it. It took me five years to actually do so. I guess I was too busy rushing to school or basketball practice or orchestra rehearsal, too busy grazing and meandering with all the other sheep. I find that I get so caught up in my own life that I forget to shear off my problems and look up at the mountains, the big picture. To look at what I can do to make significant impact. But last January, in my junior year of high school, I did do a little something that was out of the ordinary. I gave a speech to the Board of Education about making the cafeteria plates in my district more biodegradable. It took me two minutes to do so. And it was so rewarding and so fulfilling.

I am still in the process of getting more active, though. I do little things like pick up plastic bags off the floor and reuse scratch paper, but the hardest part of being active is figuring out what I want to do and initiating it. After that, once a goal is set, the rest just seems to fall into place and I just do it. I love the feeling that I get when I do something bigger than myself. I feel like I have some significant purpose—it’s great.

So here’s my call to action: BE ACTIVE! Really—it’s fun and fulfilling and fabulous. I try to listen to that call everyday. And maybe one day my “baaaah” will be loud enough so that others listen too, and the flock of sheep can start making a difference.