This I Believe

Richard - Bellefonte, Pennsylvania
Entered on March 17, 2008
Age Group: Under 18
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From the Outback Country of Australia, to the halls of the Parliament House in the UK, to the beaches of Normandy in France, my most life altering experience has been people. While all the sightseeing and fantastic places to visit were great and will never be forgotten, it was the people who believed in me that changed my life forever.

A special group of people believed in me and supported me. They told me I had what it took to be an ambassador. They understood something that I had yet to discover.

As a 10 year old, I didn’t think I could have an impact on world peace. But that all changed when our Student Ambassador delegation visited a school in Brisbane, Australia. My eyes were opened that day, as I talked and made new friends. I observed that through our differences, we had one major thing in common. It was our desire for world peace. It was then that I realized that people throughout the world must surely have peace as a common goal. It was then that I realized why a special group of people were eager to send me to some far away countries that they themselves had never seen. It was then that I realized that I had more to do when I returned home. It was then that I realized that my journey was just beginning.

A special group of people allowed me the opportunity to see what they had already believed in. They allowed me to see that peace is a common goal among all peoples and that peace is achievable if we put aside our differences long enough to see what we have in common. They believed in me and now I believe in them.

When I was at the Beaches of Normandy and saw the area where so many soldiers selflessly sacrificed their lives, I began to think about World War II in a whole new way. It was then that I could visualize the horrors of war. It was then that I could sense that there wasn’t one person during that time who didn’t desire peace. It was then that I could understand, that people, not governments, were our hope from such a tragedy occurring again. It was then that I could say that peace had no boundaries, except the ones I set. It was then that I could declare myself an ambassador for peace. It was then that I could see peace as a hidden treasure waiting to be discovered.

It was then that I knew that I was on a journey that was just beginning. My eyes have been opened and my life has been changed forever.