This I Believe

Ryan - Dowagiac, Michigan
Entered on December 6, 2007
Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: humanism

I believe what it means to be human

I believe what it means to be human is to have a soul. By that I mean to

be honest, generous, and to feel the way we do about one another. My

paper will tell about a time I was involved in proving that generosity is

an essential part of being a human being. It shows compassion for your


It was a Friday night in mid summer. My girlfriend and I were at the local

shell station getting some things to drink for when we watch a couple of

movies we had rented. As we were backing up to pull out of the gas

station, my girlfriend spotted an old man struggling to use a pay phone.

Jessica looks over at me and says “do you think we should go help him?” I

figured we did so I stopped the car and got out to go and help the old


I walked out to the old man, wearing a flannel shirt and a green berate

type hat, and asked if he needed any help using the phone. The man looked

at me and grinned and said “the phone won’t take my money I don’t know

what to do.” I turned to Jessica and said “baby hand me my phone.” I gave

the old man my cell phone to use. As I walked up to the old man, he was

shaking like he was afraid of something. I asked “do you want me to dial

the number for you sure?” and he said “yes please.”

The man was trying to get a hotel room in another town but it was booked.

He got one in town but wanted to still get one for the town he needed to

stay in. The man called his son for his credit card number so he could

book the hotel room for the next night and the following couple of nights.

The man got the number but when he called the hotel he could not hear the

women on the phone, and he asked me to take over. I gladly took the phone

from the man and relayed everything between the two of them. I got the old

man his hotel room with no problems at all. As I hung up the phone I could

see in the man’s face that he was so overwhelmed with joy that he wanted

to start dancing because he stress had ended.

I felt really great about myself and the teachings that my parents had

taught me over the years to help out our fellow man. I shook the man’s

hand and helped him back to his car, and I’ll never forget what he said

to me after that. “God bless you and your wife.” I looked at the man and

explained that I was only 19 and not married that she was just my

girlfriend. Then the man said with a big smile and red cheeks “oh I’m

sorry, god bless you and your girlfriend for helping out an old man.” I

smiled and said “thank you sir, enjoy your hotel it was my honor to help

you.” As I walked back to my black jeep with the UM plate on the front, I

had the biggest smile I had ever had before and I felt relieved like I

really made a difference. I will also remember forever my girlfriend

looking at me and giving me a huge hug saying she was so proud of me and

what a great person I was for helping him.

I was generous and I made a difference in that old man’s life if even for

a second he gained renewed faith in my generation and the future of our

world. Generosity is essential in all things. People can’t just walk

around being mean and rude to each other all the time. This is what makes

us different from animals. For them it’s all about surviving on your own

and protecting a family. Humans help each other just out of the goodness

of their hearts, proving that having a soul and a good heart makes the

human race unique.