This I Believe

Julian - lake oswego, Oregon
Entered on January 5, 2008
Age Group: Under 18
  • Podcasts

    Sign up for our free, weekly podcast of featured essays. You can download recent episodes individually, or subscribe to automatically receive each podcast. Learn more.

  • FAQ

    Frequently asked questions about the This I Believe project, educational opportunities and more...

  • Top Essays USB Drive

    This USB drive contains 100 of the top This I Believe audio broadcasts of the last ten years, plus some favorites from Edward R. Murrow's radio series of the 1950s. It's perfect for personal or classroom use! Click here to learn more.

What has become of the human race? Do we really think that we are the superior rulers of earth? We treat our planet like it’s a teenager’s room and we just throw things on the floor. Every human being out there has become so conceited about our race that our planet is starting to suffer. I’m 13 years old and I don’t really come from a huge environmental background. But it’s not just the environment; it’s all the different species as well. For example, bears and lions are very vicious, strong, and intelligent, yet we still think we are better than them. If we came face to face with one of these animals we would be torn to shreds. It all comes down to the survival of the fittest. Yes, we have superior intelligence, but you don’t see animals ruining our planet. If we are so smart, why do we have problems like pollution, wars, and cases of high cruelty? The answer is we’re not perfect.

One night maybe a month ago, I was working on a science project about animals. As I was studying all the amazing features of animals, I thought, “Wait a minute!” Why do we think of animals as being below us on the food chain? It doesn’t make any sense. We have maybe two things that put us over all the animals: Opposable thumbs and more highly developed brains. If we are on top, why do we let our little problems that don’t mean a thing in the long run distract us from taking care of our earth? The problems that keep us from helping the world are petty disputes that are usually about the environment. For example our presidents or rulers argue about helping the environment. We talk about “going green” and recycling when instead we should just do those things. If we actually would recycle or live energy efficient lives we would survive in a better world. But, if we continue to just care about ourselves and not respect the very thing that holds our lives, we will eventually destroy it and then we’ll think, “Wow! We should have respected our true home!”

All of us hold the power to make a change. It doesn’t even have to be big. Just the little word “change” dramatically alters everything. All we have to do is admit we need a change. To change a problem, you have to first recognize that you have one. You may be able to turn a blind eye to our problems now, but down the road, you will run into those problems, and it will be too late to make that change in your lifestyle. If you really think about it, why not? Why wouldn’t you make a change that would not just help you, but every other living thing?

If someone came right up to you and said, “If you take 5 minute shorter showers you can help the world.” A shower! That’s it! That’s one easy step you can do to make this world the place it should be. There are many other things you can do to help, but the top one is to care. If we would care about our planet, it would already be a better place. And don’t just care about our world. Care about other people and other species. Animals have become nearly or completely extinct. It’s time we care. And if we don’t, we might somehow become extinct like some of the animals before us. I know it sounds extreme, but it really isn’t. Eventually we will run out of resources. But there are scientists right now working on this. These scientists have already made breakthroughs in technology and additional ways to use existing resources. They have used corn to make ethanol to fuel our vehicles. Also they are using electricity, biodiesel, hydrogen and many other resources to help the fight against polluting fossil fuels. As you can see, there is still an enormous amount of hope left. All we have to do is make that one little change.