Belief is not Enough

Kimberly - Boise, Idaho
Entered on March 19, 2009
Age Group: 18 - 30
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I believe that actions, not beliefs, are what make a difference in people’s lives. Though beliefs are important, they can’t change the world. Actions, especially those involving sacrifice, possess the ability to not just change oneself, but to influence others.

When I was a child, my mom read my sister and me stories from The Book of Virtues. The stories were about loyalty, perseverance, courage, and faith. It was her goal to instill virtues into her children. Though the stories are now long forgotten, I will always remember how much her actions taught me. It is her sacrifices that have changed me more than the virtues she read about.

My mom has shown me what it means to act on one’s beliefs. Before my sister and I were to begin school, the school district rules regarding residency changed. The new district boundaries excluded us from attending the local school. Instead, we would be forced to attend a school that had a reputation of consistently failing to provide its students with a quality education.

This left my mom with two choices: either send her daughters to a failing district, or make their education her first priority. It would have been easy for my mom to say that she believed in education, yet send my sister and me to a failing school. It would have been easy to blame the school district rules. But, for her, simply believing in education was not enough, so she decided to turn her beliefs into action. She homeschooled my sister and me for four years.

My sister and I were with our mom every day during our childhood. She was constantly busy teaching us, tending to the house, and running the family business. Several years passed before we were able to move to a new house in a better school district. She sacrificed many things for our education. She postponed her career and educational goals for several years, she trained herself to become a teacher, and she moved into a house that was closer to town, even though she preferred to live in the country.

Because of her hard work and the sacrifices she made, I place a high value on education. It was my mother’s actions, not her beliefs, that have changed me. She has proven to me that the courage to act upon one’s beliefs is the greatest of all virtues.