This week, we were assigned to read essays on http://www.thisibelieve.org. There were so many to choose from but only a few of the essays had resonated with me. The first essay I chose is called A Shared Moment of Trust by Warren Christopher. It really surprised me just how true this essay is. Almost all of our interactions are based in trust. The second essay I chose is called Compliments by Cindy Bee. This essay really stood out to me–I don’t think I’ve every forgotten a compliment given to me by complete strangers. Each and every time I’ve been complimented, I was so shocked and then so happy. The rest of my day was so much better, I had more of a bounce when I walked and I was just pleasant to be around during the day.
In A Shared Moment of Trust, Warren Christopher emphasized just how much trust people place on strangers. When you drive, you place your life not only in your own hands, but the hands of strangers who are also on the road. This is how the world works–the small moments of trust that you place in the hands of strangers happens a million times over. Every decision we make, every thing we do has to do with trusting people to some degree. When we order food, we trust the chef with our meal. We hope that the chef and waitstaff don’t drop our food or spit in it. Even as babies, we placed trust on the people around us–being completely dependent on getting fed, clothed, and being given shelter from people we barely knew.
In Compliments, Cindy Bee stresses the importance of paying people compliments. “Where else can one get something so valuable that costs nothing to give?” says Cindy. In her essay, she talks about her great-aunt Toots who was the town beautician. Her great aunt spent most of her time at the salon complimenting women and making them feel better about themselves. Giving a compliment doesn’t take much effort but still makes a big difference in other people’s lives.
What I really like about This I Believe essays is how personal they are, and how they show the small moments in a person’s life that changes their beliefs forever.