This I Believe…

Katherine - Valdese, North Carolina
Entered on February 28, 2008
Age Group: Under 18
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This I Believe…

“The love we give away is the only one we keep.” When Elbert Hubbard said this, he meant that when people are selfless and show compassion to others, they get much more self-gratification. Ever since I was a baby, my family has shown me compassion and love. Whether I was embraced in my mother’s arms or sitting on my grandfather’s lap, I’ve felt loved my entire life. Throughout the years, my loving family taught me to show compassion and love to others as well. This is why I believe in the power of compassion and loving others.

A few weeks ago, my Sunday school class went to a developmental center where patients with mental retardation are cared for and loved by everyone who works there. We assisted the patients in getting to the church by pushing their wheelchairs for them, and we also got to participate in the church service. Before the service even began, some patients took the initiative to come up to us and tell us how much it meant to them that we had come. One particular young lady made sure that she became friends with everybody, showed us all pictures of her niece, and told us that we were all her new best friends. After the service concluded and I was on my way home, a great realization came upon me. If someone with a physical and mental disorder was able to show compassion and love to a complete stranger, then why is it so difficult for us to do the same? All their lives, these people have been suffering and facing severe amounts of heartache and pain. Yet, they still carry on and are some of the happiest people I know.

Another time compassion was returned to me through an act of kindness was when my youth group went to Charleston, South Carolina. During our stay, we did a backyard Bible study at a local apartment complex. Through the week, my youth group witnessed to these children; some could barely speak English. When our last day of Bible study had come, the children didn’t want us to leave. The love and compassion we had shown to them had made a difference in their lives, which is what we had been trying to accomplish the whole time. Knowing that I had made a difference in a young child’s life gave me a sense of accomplishment that I will never forget.

For many of us, immense levels of stress and pressure can hinder us from showing love and compassion to others, but all humans need to know that someone cares. One simple word or action of compassion could brighten someone’s day and make them want to pass their happiness to someone else. One specific verse in the Bible tells us to “Love thy neighbor as thyself.” In other words, people should be selfless and always think of others before they think of themselves. In my lifetime, church services and family get-togethers have taught me this lesson, and this is what I believe.