This I Believe

Kayla - Marietta, Georgia
Entered on December 13, 2007
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: change
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I believe that I can change the world. Maybe I won’t be like Billy Graham or Martin Luther King, but I can at least change the world through the eyes of one person.

Growing up, I used to believe that changing the world was an impossible goal to achieve. That someone as boring as me could never be able to do anything such thing as that, though, my opinion slowly changed. I soon realized that it does not take someone to stand up in front of a thousand people and share with them their beliefs to make a difference. Yes, that is one way to start a change, but not for everyone, and certainly not for me.

Not too long ago, I attended an event called Displace Me. It is held in major cities across the nation, and is used to raise awareness for the Invisible Children. The Invisible Children is an organization aimed to help improve the lifestyle for children who are forced into war in Africa. At Displace Me, thousands of teens, along with myself slept on cardboard boxes, and experience what many children go through everyday. We wrote letters to our state officials, learned more about what we ourselves were helping to improve, and opened our communities up to the realities of what is occurring around the world through the news, radio stations, and more. Through this event, I learned about what I myself was doing to make life better for another person. That although I was in and environment filled with friendly faces that were participating in the exact same cause that I was, I was changing the world along with my peers in a ways that we could not imagine. We were showing thousands of children that we had never met that there are people who care for them, that are fighting to make their voices heard. Displace Me was a life changing event that altered me in many different ways, and I am planning on going back when it is held again next year.

Although Displace Me was an event that greatly influenced me, it is not the only way to make a difference. A simple smile or friendly gesture while walking down the hall or street, motions many do subconsciously, can make the world’s difference to someone in pain. The simple knowledge that someone out there in the world cares enough to smile can trigger a person to reevaluate everything they have believed. About two years ago I heard a true story that moved me greatly. It is about a boy in high school who was cleaning out his locker, for it was his last day going to that school. While he was walking home he dropped the books he was carrying. A boy around his age ran over to him and suggested that he help him carry his books home. Over a short period of time, the two boys became close friends, hanging out with each other as much as they could. The boy who was leaving the school confided in his new friend that the day he helped him carry his books home, he was taking them home because he was going to kill himself that night. He was tired of being picked on and was going to end it once in for all. When his friend came and showed him kindness, he saw that good in people and decided that life was worth living.

If I am asked the question of whether or not I believe that I can change the world, my answer is absolutely. It does not require a massive movement to make a change. Whether I attend an event for the Invisible children or simply offer a friendly gesture to a stranger, I can change the world along with anyone else that is willing.