Lindsey - Bdford, New York
Entered on April 30, 2009
Age Group: Under 18
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When I was about eleven, I went to Lake Compounce with the rest of my sleep away camp. I was playing in the water with two of my friends. We were having so much fun, playing in the lake, until I looked to my right. I saw a girl with long black hair and sparkling brown eyes. She looked no older than seven and she couldn’t swim. She was coughing and splashing and trying (but not succeeding) to come up for air. I didn’t have to think (which was good because I didn’t have time to). I ran over, picked the girl up, and took her to shore. Her family thanked me. Then, they were gone. I have never seen that girl again but I’m hoping that she is alive and happy. Hopefully, she has compassion and is there for the people that are in need of help and understanding. And I hope she has learned all that I have learned.

I believe in compassion. As I said before, I didn’t have to think about what choice I had to make. I just did it. When I look back on this day, I realize that there are many reasons for this. First, I would never just stand there watching anyone being taken by death. The second was my mom’s brother. He drowned when he was only two. I (obviously) didn’t know him and my mom didn’t know him for very long, either.

Also, I know how that girl must have felt. When I was about four, I went to one of my best friend’s birthday parties, which was at a pool. I could swim pretty well, but only where I could stand. The lifeguards were in the water playing with the rest of the kids instead of guarding people’s lives. For some reason I still don’t understand, I decided to do something very stupid. I went to the deep end. All alone. At first I was fine, but only because I was holding onto something that was keeping me above water. Then, I let go. Immediately, the calm, cool water that, just a minute ago, was so relaxing harshly pulled me down. Luckily, somebody jumped in and saved me.

These experiences and a few more, have helped me become a more caring and compassionate person. I have also learned to appreciate life more. Plus, I pay a little bit more attention to my surroundings. The first experience I told you about happened about four of five feet away from me. And who knows what would have happened if I didn’t turn around and just continued playing with my friends? Maybe someone else would have seen her and taken her to shore where her family was. But there was also a chance that nobody would have seen her. The point is certain things can be stopped from happening if people keep their eyes open and try to understand how the person it’s happening to feels at that moment. When I was drowning, someone out there was looking out for me. Because of that, I understood how that girl felt and I was there for her. If someone had been there to save my mom’s brother and understand how he felt, it might not have happened the way it did. Compassion is a very important quality to me. The world would be a better place if everyone had just a little bit of compassion. This I believe.