Nicole - Glendale, Wisconsin
Entered on May 14, 2008
Age Group: Under 18


I believe that everything we do can make a difference. Helping a stranger carry her groceries, picking people up when they are down, or even how you look at people-all of it matters. Every little thing that you do can make all the difference in the world. From the nod of your head to a smile to a hug; the simple things matter. Most people take their actions granted, thinking they are not important and no one cares what they do. Those people are wrong.

Approximately two months ago, I waited on an elderly lady at the restaurant where I work. She came in alone towards the end of the night. As I sat her, I thought of how vulnerable she looked. I remember her tired eyes watching every table I waited on. Watching, but not saying a word. I made a point to smile every time I walked past, stopping every once in awhile to strike a friendly conversation. I figured she was just lonely and wanted someone to talk to. I was right. She eventually started to tell me how her husband had recently passed and how lonely her days had become. She said it was nice to meet a person who cared. I did not think what I did was a big deal, but to her, I think it was.

It makes me wonder what it was like for my grandpa. He past away about two years ago. Looking back, I realize I was not exactly the best grandkid. Whenever he came to visit, I always made a point to go out with my friends, just so I would not have to listen to some old war story repeated for the thousandth time. Now I realize that maybe he just did not know how else to communicate with me. I always had a barrier up, some force field I did not want him to break. Maybe if I would have listened to his stories and even shared some of my own, I would not feel so guilty. Maybe he would have been a happier person if I had taken the thirty minutes out of my precious day to talk to him about something he cared about. It could have made all the difference.

I believe it takes a serious event to make us realize that our actions do have an effect. Upon realizing that, we start to mature. We start to go out of our way to make other people lead a happier life. After all, does bringing someone else down really bring you up? Reaching beyond the selfish way in which children live is a gigantic stepping-stone. For some, the stretch is far and may take a couple attempts to reach. But once reached, I believe that the person realizes how insignificant he is to the rest of the world, but how much potential he has to better it.