Giving More Than You Take

Dakota - Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Entered on August 17, 2008
Age Group: Under 18
  • Podcasts

    Sign up for our free, weekly podcast of featured essays. You can download recent episodes individually, or subscribe to automatically receive each podcast. Learn more.

  • FAQ

    Frequently asked questions about the This I Believe project, educational opportunities and more...

  • Top Essays USB Drive

    This USB drive contains 100 of the top This I Believe audio broadcasts of the last ten years, plus some favorites from Edward R. Murrow's radio series of the 1950s. It's perfect for personal or classroom use! Click here to learn more.

Some people think about themselves and only themselves. I feel sorry for those people. I believe that you should always give more than you take. Some people say that karma would be a good reason to do it. I say that you can inspire other people to do it. Which I think is a lot better in the end.

I was a witness to somebody giving a whole lot more than he took back. When my grandfather became older, he couldn’t take care of himself quite as easily. He was living by himself. He needed someone to come help him on a daily basis. So he asked his life long friend, Jay, from Arkansas to come live with him and take care of him. Without even thinking about it, his friend agreed and moved down to Louisiana. That was the beginning of how much this man inspired me. The selflessness that he showed is a lot more than a lot of other people would show.

Throughout the years, as my grandfather got older, things became more and more difficult for him and his friend. My grandfather became restricted to a wheelchair. He couldn’t move without being pushed because the apartment they were living in had carpet. All of that wore his friend out. But, never did I once hear him complain about it. He was always ready and willing to help. The funny thing was that whenever our family offered to help him out, he would politely turn us down and say that he had it covered. He never took any kind of payment or let anyone treat him to anything. He would only give and give.

Every time that I think of this story from a couple of years ago, and this man, it brings a smile to my face. It almost brings a tear sometimes. For Jay to leave his family in another state to come down and help my grandfather is wonderful. Sadly, my grandfather died a few years ago. Jay was there at his funeral though. He was just as much family as the rest of us. When he gave his little speech at the funeral it left everyone’s eyes as watery as a lake. I will never forget Jay and what he did. Nobody in my family will. He always gave more than he took. Something we should all try to do a little bit more of.