This I Believe

Christina - Wethersfield, Connecticut
Entered on January 15, 2008
Age Group: Under 18
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“I’m Only Human” is Not an Excuse.

As I make my way through the compelling four years of high school, every day I learn something new. I don’t mean the newest chapter in the algebra book or conjugating the next verb in French. I mean every day I look out my window and see the achingly sweet crossing guard helping the children cross the street, or the curious faces of the children in daycare. As I was routinely driving with my mom to pick up my sister in Simsbury the other day, I was gazing out the window and I saw a little elderly woman watering her garden with a huge green hose. Any normal person would have disregarded this and continued jamming to the hits on kiss 95.7, but there was something about the innocence and fragility she held that made tears come to my eyes. I began to wonder what her life must have been like, and whether it was filled with moments of joyfulness or tragedies. Why was she struggling with the garden hose? Why wasn’t her husband or children or grandchildren out there helping her? Was she really that alone? And then it dawned on me. I believe that there is a light of goodness shining deep within everyone. That light may be close to the surface, or it may be buried so deep that it appears lost forever. I believe we are all on this earth to help one another and make someone else’s life brighter. If this weren’t true, then God would have given each individual a separate planet to live on.

In the same afternoon, something else began to trouble me. One car nearly bumped into another, and in response to the woman’s yelling, the man said, “well sorry, I’m only human you know.” I was frustrated. If everyone in the world used that statement, nothing would ever be accomplished. After all, Marin Luther King, Gandhi, and Mother Theresa were “only human.” At what point does one stop believing in the power they hold and give in to the nothingness that surrounds them in their every day lives? I believe that with every new day comes hope for the future. With every new song and every new painting comes a new vision of our lives. I believe that it’s up to you to change the world. After all, it’s not one big thing but many little things that determine how you live your life. Sometimes when one chooses to see only the bad things – the gang violence, the natural disasters, and death – they forget about the good things – the gifts of truth, beauty, freedom and love. I believe if people stop focusing on the past, and focus on the light of their futures, the world will be the one we’ve always dreamed of.