This I Believe

Zachary - Jupiter, Florida
Entered on November 5, 2007
Age Group: Under 18

I tend to be a person of many and changing beliefs. I believe in Taoism, Descartes and love at first sight, but I may or may not believe these things tomorrow because there is only one thing that I truly believe in with all of my heart. This is the one belief that has supported and will continue to support me in the best and worst times of my life, and that is my unfailing belief in the power of the Beanie Baby, you know those little plush animals made by TY that everyone went crazy about in the 90s. I can attribute all of this to my grandmother.

My grandmother Patricia Hudson, known to me only as grandma, was perhaps the most amazing and influential person I will ever meet. She was by no means perfect and I think that was why I loved her so much. She was just as likely to cheat in a card game as she was to give you her mac’n’cheese, and it was her influence and that of her Beanie Baby that taught me to live life fully despite the circumstances.

I consider this memory the perfect illustration of what I mean by the power of a Beanie Baby. It was my 10th birthday and my grandmother was visiting and she had brought me a Beanie Baby, as she always did on all of her visits. She had taken me out shopping to pick out a birthday present and I was, as I always was and still am, indecisive and I ended up picking out a movie I didn’t want and I couldn’t decide on anything else. We were getting ready to check out when she turned to me and said, “ That’s it, that’s all you want? Are you sure, because you can get something else too?”

“Yes, that’s all I want” I said

“No, it’s not” she said with a smile “Your going about it all wrong. You’re supposed to look up at me and ask is that all! You’ve always got to ask is that all, always. Because how will you know what you’re missing if you don’t”

I came away from that day with a whole new outlook on life. Her statement was so simple, so seemingly apparent that it just made perfect sense then, and it still seems to be universally truthful. It is the perfect philosophy. Just ask, “What else?” No longer just for my birthday, but for my life and everything in it. What else can I get? What else can I do? What else can I see, smell, touch. What else can I experience?

So even now many years later, my grandmother has passed on and I’ve lost the video and whatever else I got that day but I still have the beanie baby. To this day all I have to do is glance at a beanie baby, any beanie baby and ask myself “What more…?”