This I Believe

Lauren - Newcastle, Washington
Entered on January 28, 2008
Age Group: 18 - 30
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“Each small act of kindness reverberates across great distances and spans of time, affecting lives unknown to the one whose generous spirit was the source of the good echo, because kindness is passed on and grows each time it is passed, until simple courtesy becomes an act of selfless courage years later and far away.” I believe that in order to enjoy ourselves, helping others around us is a necessary aspect in life. Helping others is like giving back to the community for all that we receive. I never realized until recently how great of a feeling you get, and the motivation you gain.

I have been involved in my high school’s leadership for two years. Not only do we help out in our school, but in our community as well. One evening I got the opportunity to volunteer in a soup kitchen. Being in the building gave me an unforgettable feeling. It wasn’t very loud, and it was a bit gloomy, yet there was still a feeling of warmth in the room. As the people began entering the building, I noticed small details about them; most of them looked exhausted, and their clothes were noticeably worn-out. But just to see the smiles on their faces when we served them food gave me such a warm feeling on the inside, and made me want to help out more often.

One day my dad and I were driving home from the pass. It was getting dark, we were tired, and were all eager to get home. On the side of the road we saw a man jumping up and down. He was holding his antsy dog in one hand, and waving around jumper cables in the other. My dad decided to do the right thing; so we stopped to help him. He looked to be in his late 30’s, wearing jogging clothes, and looked exhausted. He had an old rusty truck that looked like it didn’t run so well. After 15 minutes of no luck, we all became frustrated. My dad didn’t want to leave the man, so we offered to give him a ride home, but found out he lived too far away. So we attempted it once more, feeling quite doubtful about it, but surprisingly we were successful. The reaction of the man gave me such an incredible feeling. He was so happy and so thankful for us taking the time to stop and help him. He came over to us in the car and thanked us, and wished us a great rest of the year. He also said enthusiastically that he’s now going to go help five other people. I know all of us in the car, including Andy, my sister Mikayla, my dad Mitch and I were smiling.

I think everyone should experience that feeling of joy and relief gained by helping others out of kindness and thoughtfulness. I believe that helping others will eventually lead to more people wanting to help each other.