The Importance of Giving Back

John - Centennial, Colorado
Entered on November 17, 2009
Age Group: Under 18

I believe in giving back to the community in which I live. All of us here in America and Centennial, in particular, have numerous privileges that many people in the world can only dream of. We have access to excellent education. We are protected by policemen, firefighters, and other public servants who work for the safety and betterment of our community. There are so many luxuries we simply take for granted; the idea of not having running water or reliable electricity is a completely foreign concept to us. Few of us have ever had to walk farther than the kitchen sink when we are thirsty, let alone worry about whether the water we are drinking could kill us. Many people in the world do not have these same luxuries. For this reason, I believe that each of us has the responsibility of giving back to the community.

I give back to my community by doing Search and Rescue (SAR). In my opinion, there is no greater feeling than seeing the gratitude in the eyes of a parent when you find their beloved child. When I see that gratitude, I feel like I am really earning all the benefits bestowed upon me by American society.

On one occasion, I helped find someone’s child at a health fair. A mother came up to our search and rescue truck looking very nervous. Her only child, a four-year-old girl, had left her side and was now lost somewhere among the throngs of people. We quickly split up and searched for the girl. My team walked through the entire venue, checking under tables and in booths. After ten minutes of focused searching, the girl was found playing at an attraction, blissfully ignorant of the frantic search being held on her behalf. The gratitude her mother showed when her daughter was brought back made all the long, tough hours of training seem worth it. An invisible weight was lifted from the mother’s shoulders; seeing the relief she felt was one of the best moments of my life.

One way we need to show our gratitude for what we have is by giving back. None of us would be where we are today were it not for the great circumstances in which we have grown up. Therefore, it is not just a good thing to give back, it is our duty to try and make the world a better place for those less fortunate than ourselves. This I believe.