This I Believe

Isabella - Houston, Texas
Entered on November 2, 2007
Age Group: Under 18

I believe in friendship, even when it comes from the most unexpected places. I believe that friendship can surpass surmountable differences. A true companion can be found in the most unexpected people. Friends help define who you are and who you become. I believe that friendship transforms, teaches and changes people.

August lived with my elderly babysitter Bessie. He would come over with her and we would play games, watch television, play pranks and ran around for hours. At the young age of five, August was my best friend.

Our friendship continued as we grew older. However, as is inevitable, I began to realize that August and I came from different worlds. The notion had not entered my head until I went to August’s house for the first time. I was stunned. August lived in a run-down one story house with no air conditioning. I walked in to see beaten up furniture sitting in the tiny bedrooms and kitchen. I had not even considered that his house would be different from mine. I did not know how to react to everything I had just seen. Sensing my unease, my mother explained to me that Bessie had taken August into her home when he was an infant. His father was in prison and his mother was a drug addict.

It was a lot to comprehend, but even after I learned the truth about August, it did not change our friendship. August continued coming over with Bessie and we continued to grow closer. A difficult, even heart-breaking, story had opened for both of us but somehow it did not matter, especially to him.

As we grew into our teens we did not see each other as often, but when we did, it was like he had not been away at all. Despite his situation, he thrived. He had always tried his best at everything, especially school. He took the advanced classes and tried to learn everything he could. He participated in multiple activities, worked after school and even played sports. He did not have transportation to school, a computer, or even lunch money all the time. I, on the other hand, had all of these things. Whenever I visited with August, I always felt better being around his positive attitude and he always encouraged me to do my best. His friendship made me realize how blessed I am.

I believe that August’s friendship made me a better person. He helped me realize it is not what you have, but what you do with what you have. August showed me that even when two people can have immensely different backgrounds an unwavering friendship can be formed. Without him, I would be a different person.