Colorado Rocky Mountain School student believes in changing the lives of others

Feb 4, 2010 4:01 PM ET

Colorado Rocky Mountain School Blog

I believe in changing the lives of others.

I will always remember certain moments, moments when my life was significantly changed by a caring friend or even a stranger. Before some of these events I always thought that to change a person’s life you had to be wearing spandex beneath a flowing cape, and possess some extraordinary super power that could be called on in an instant.  What could someone like me, so ordinary, so small do to make a difference in the world? I am not a doctor nor am I a scientist; I have not even graduated from high school, there is little I have to offer. But recently a teacher of mine showed me otherwise. From him I learned a person does not need to donate millions of dollars to charity. I learned that you do not need to conduct medical research to cure illnesses in order change the lives of others.

Like many other people I have always struggled with self doubt. I wonder constantly what I will do with my life. Will I make my family proud of me? Am I good enough to make a difference in this world or will I simply slip through it like an unnoticed shadow. These thoughts piled one on top of the other adding to my stack of burdens. One day I broke under their weight. My teacher noticed this and took the time to speak and patiently listen to me unravel my pained thoughts. At the end of the conversation he insisted that no matter what, I have already done great things and that I can continue to do so. Not accepting this I shook my head, “No I can’t.” He looked back at me warmly and simply replied with, “Yes. You can.”

Those simple words will stay with me forever. They are comfortably nestled in the back of my mind, under my cape, and tucked into my spandex, waiting to be called on in a moment’s notice. When I find myself thinking that I am not good enough I remember those words.  That person was able to change my life simply by taking the time to talk to me. Just by noticing that I was sad and by being willing to listen to my concerns, this man drastically made my life better. He is not a doctor, he does not have millions of dollars, and he is not the head of some awareness campaign. But now he is a friend and in his own little way a hero. It is because of my experience that I encourage everyone to smile at a stranger on a dark day, maybe pay for the bill of the person standing behind you, or to ask someone who looks down if they’re ok, regardless if they’re friend or foe. No matter how small it is, a simple gesture of kindness could be all that someone needs.  It doesn’t matter what you do, but do something, reach out and be that person who lets someone feel cared about, be the person who makes a difference, because I believe you can.

CRMS Senior, Class of 2010