This I Believe

David - West Palm Beach, Florida
Entered on November 8, 2007
Age Group: Under 18

When my grandfather died, I was home alone for a week, and trying to understand why he had to die the way he did; slip on the stairs in his apartment going to work on his million-year-old car. The sad thing was the irony, because at 72 he was still strong as an ox. Being 11 years old I would go for walks along the canal where he taught me to fish when I was a toddler and let my mind wonder. One day, I took some twine with me and assembled a makeshift fishing lure out of twigs, and leaves; simple, but it worked. Since then I have believed in simplicity. I believe that today we are overburdened with so many distractions we forget the meaning behind the simplest things.

I believe that small details can have much more meaning than grand exhibitions. Look at nature, it is always simple, and yet so beautiful. For example, today, phones are equipped with internet, music, video, and so many extraneous features, that we forget the sincerity and compassion of a phone call to say “hi” to instead, forget grammar and send a text message about your “BFF”. We forget to focus when driving and put others at risk when talking on the phone while combing your hair and having the car in cruise control because we don’t want to put our foot on the pedal. We must realize that life is full of the simplest things and when you remove all the extras you see the real meaning behind things.

I believe in taking the time to think about someone and give them a good gift, showing them how much I care about them and thought I put into it as opposed to cash or a gift card. I believe in planting a rose in her room before I leave instead of greeting her with a boutique of flowers. I believe in appreciating the little things and taking a step back to recollect one’s thoughts. I believe that no amount of money or luxuries can amount to how compassionate and intriguing an individual is.

I believe in the simple life, not the insult to middle-income America on E! but the one that reminds us of who we are and who we want to be, or at least points us in that direction because oftentimes, we don’t know either. I still remember that week form hell when my dad was in Pennsylvania and mom in Colombia working out funeral arrangements; and I remember that the things that got me through it wasn’t the gift baskets or abundance of e-mails, but instead old pictures of him, short walks, and a copy of the letter and picture I sent him before he died, in other words, the simple things.