I Believe in Charity

Leah - Elgin, Illinois
Entered on November 5, 2008
Age Group: Under 18
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In his inaugural address John F. Kennedy said, “Ask not what your country can do for you but what you can do for your country.” I agree with Kennedy’s statement; it is what I believe. I believe people need to worry about what they can do for others and not what can be done for them. As a result others will ask to help you and a cycle begins bringing everyone closer together. For these reasons I believe in charity.

We live in a selfish society. Everyone wants the newer, the faster, the better. Few are satisfied with what they have now. We have gotten caught up with doing things that benefit only ourselves and tend to forget about the other people around us. This is a fatal move for us. If we stop caring about others and become so self-centered we will lead very lonely lives. We need to slow down, open our eyes, and give back for what we have received. This is why I believe in charity.

Being raised Catholic and attending Catholic elementary and middle school, I have been taught over and over again to love my neighbor, to help others, and to always give back. It is not always easy but I regard these actions as important, and try my best to comply with them. Through the various organizations with which I am associated such as National Honor Society and Class Council, I have participated in many service projects and experienced first hand what it is like to do something good for someone else. One project that stands out most in my mind is when, last December, my class council volunteered at a local toy drive. There, parents who could not afford Christmas presents were able to choose between donated toys for their children. Being able to help the parents in their gift decisions was a very unique experience. These parents were the same as mine; they wanted to give their children a decent Christmas. It was incredible to think that I was able to help them accomplish this. The only difference between those parents and my own was that theses people had hit a rough patch and found themselves in tough times. Their tough times could have been caused by a job loss or illness and suddenly they found themselves without the money they thought they would have for Christmas. As human beings, we need to see the connections between people and come together to help one another. By helping others we grow into a more sympathetic community and its just plain good for us. Acts of charity put us in the right viewpoint to see how alike we are and I believe that if we find our commonalities, communication will improve and the whole world could live in an improved state with less hatred and violence. It all starts with the desire to give back.