What’s Your Change?

Christopher - Rancho Santa Fe, California
Entered on March 24, 2008
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: change
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What’s Your Change?

I believe in the power of change. I believe that when you hurt someone, the opportunity for positive change is a choice that we have control over

At the age of eight I came to that revelation. My mom was conferencing with my second grade teacher about yet another “Horrendous outburst in class.” This time though, I had crossed the line. According to her, I was feeding the students with humor, and keeping my fellow classmates from learning. As I held my ear close to the door, I heard the vulgar words of Mrs.Leckley, or as I called her in private, Mrs.Hagg, tell my mother that I must shape up. She then added that maybe I wasn’t getting enough attention at home. In my defense, my mother said that this simply wasn’t the problem and that I have a stable, nurturing home life. My mom firmly shook Mrs.Leckley’s hand and assured her that she would talk to me.

When my mom came out, I immediately held her hand and asked her what was wrong. She said that we needed to talk.

The next day at school, after an extensive chat with my mom, I entered the classroom with a new idea in mind. I told myself that I would be a new kid. I was never going to joke again. Then, thirty minutes into class, Mrs.Leckley dropped her pencil, she bent over to pick it up, and as she bent farther, her body seemed to get larger. Her butt was sticking out, and I couldn’t resist saying something. I quickly called out, “Mrs.Leckley has a big butt, she’s fat.” This thought had crossed my mind before, as she often dropped her pencil, but it had never actually left my mouth. Mrs.Leckley immediately stood up and walked over to me, and in a strict tone, she told me to go the office.

After another parent-teacher talk, my mother told me to apologize to Mrs.Leckley. When I entered though, she was crying. She held a Kleenex in her hand. Her eyes were red. I ran over, hugged her and said with the deepest sincerity, “I mean it, I’m sorry.” Then, I hugged her once more, and left.

At home that night I thought about Mrs.Leckley. Why had I done that? Then I looked at myself in the mirror. My eyes welled up, just as Mrs.Leckley’s had. As tears streamed down my face, I promised myself that I would change, for her, for me.

The next day, Mrs.Leckley went on teaching. She seemed happy, but I wasn’t. At the end of class, I stood up, and told my classmates (all waiting for another joke), that I had to apologize. “I was rude, Mrs.Leckley didn’t deserve that, and I guess it’s just because I want attention,” I said. Then I sat there. I thought. People can change.