Monalisa Smile

Lindsay - Gilbertsville, Pennsylvania
Entered on December 2, 2008
Age Group: 18 - 30
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This I Believe Essay

I believe in demonstrating compassion. In any way possible, everyone should do anything they can to help those in need. An Indonesian girl dressed in ragged clothing, with nothing to smile about, against a bland background was the picture I received in my Compassion packet. That’s when Monalisa came into my life.

It should be in the DNA of everyone to want to do what is possible to diminish the injustice still occurring in our day and age. I think the people who are fortunate and blessed financially should give to those who are not so privileged. Even if you are not the best-off financially, there are others who are worse off and need your help.

Personally, my family is blessed. We have been through our valleys financially but always have been brought out of it. Two years ago at a Christian Festival called Creation I heard a speaker talk about an organization called Compassion International. The organization is a middle ground, connecting children in foreign countries that are in the poverty level to people who will sponsor the children and their families. That year there was a passionate man speaking on behalf of the organization named Bob Lenz. He is a large man with curly hair who profusely sweats. Lenz physically shows his inward excitement. He will yell or pace around the stage. I have never seen someone so passionate about his work. He truly cares and thinks it is possible to decrease poverty globally. I felt something inside of me telling me to sponsor a child. My best friend at the time and I decided to combine our money and sponsor one child together. Since then, about after one year into sponsoring our child Monalisa, my friend decided she needed to save her money and chose not to continue to sponsor Monalisa with me. I could not stop sending Monalisa money monthly. I have a relationship with her through letters and pictures I have from her. If I decided to stop sending her money it would be as if I were giving up on her and her family. I get very excited whenever I receive a letter from Monalisa or an updated photo of her. The white envelope comes in the mail addressed to Miss Lindsay Lippincott. I open it and there is Monalisa’s handwriting on the lined paper provided by Compassion. A translation in English is done for me next to her handwriting. In return, I send her photos of myself and letters.

Though some people would not think so, Monalisa has blessed me just as much as I have blessed her. She has allowed me to realize that helping others is very important, even if we cannot physically see the outcome of our giving. There are plenty of groups available for people to get involved and reach out and help those who cannot help themselves. I believe in Compassion and its objectives to fulfill our civic duty as humans helping those in need.