I guess I kinda have two beliefs. I wrote the first one and then thought about it more and wrote a second one. Sorry it got so long.
I believe that there is power in numbers. When people come together to rally behind a single idea or cause, a difference can be made, and lives can be changed. Here at Penn State, one weekend in February, students gather to fight pediatric cancer. For the entire year leading up to THON weekend, 15 overall chairpersons, 320 captains, and 3,400 committee members work to organize THON weekend and other events leading up to THON. At the same time, 250 general organizations, 85 Greek organizations, and 21 special interest organizations work to fundraise for the Four Diamonds Fund. On THON weekend, over 15,000 students are in and out of the BJC to support the 708 students completing the 46 hour no-sitting, no-sleeping dance maraTHON. All of these numbers, all of these students, have the ability to make a difference in the life of a family, child, doctor, researcher, or anybody that has been touched by pediatric cancer. We, as students, not only raise money to pay bills for families and fund research, but also raise awareness, and maybe most importantly, offer emotional support to the families and children affected by cancer. We inspire hope. THON weekend, the smiles on the kids’ faces are often the biggest they’ve been in a long time, and often the kids describe THON as their favorite weekend of the year. Parents call their orgs when they can’t sleep through the night, and the kids can’t wait to get to Penn State and see their “big brothers and sisters” or “peeps” or whatever they’ve decided their org should be called. We inspire hope and offer support, and in turn affect the lives of many. That’s what power in numbers can do.
Added later: I’m not sure if what I wrote above is really what the “This I Believe” series is going for. I was thinking about it, and since I’m on crutches, kindness (or lack of it) is a lot more evident. It amazes me how often people with two good legs push and shove in front of me to get on the bus at East, and it’s not exactly like I can fight back. One morning I had to wait for four buses until I could finally get on one, and ended up being almost ten minutes late to my class. There have been multiple instances where I have to stand on the bus, attempting to hold my crutches, hang on, and balance on one foot. And yes, I’ve had more than enough doors dropped on me. However, at the same time, there have been many more instances of people holding doors, or helping me out. Today, a student saw me coming, and waited a good 20 seconds to hold the door for me going into Osmond. Last semester, I just barely missed the blue loop coming home from my late final. It was the only one running. It was pouring. I decided just to crutch home. It was not fun, and needless to say I was not in a good mood. I stopped at the Good 2 Go before heading up to my room for some iced tea, and was struggling carrying the heavy bottles in one hand and crutching at the same time. A kid from my high school who I had almost never spoken to saw me struggling came up and took the bag from me without a word. He asked where I was going and carried the bag all the way to the elevator of my building for me. It’s amazing what one little act like that can do. It’s also amazing how much you learn to appreciate little things like that when you can no longer do them for yourself. So I guess maybe this belief is just about kindess? that a little bit of kindness goes a long way?
Let me know what you guys think, many apologies for the novel I just wrote. thanks!
As far as a civic issues blog goes, I’m 90% sure I would like to do something with LGBT rights, same sex marriage, etc. It’s something that I’ve always felt strongly about, and many of you know that I did my Paradigm Shift/Ted Talk on it. There are two categories for that though, so I’m not quite sure which one I will choose. The only other one I’m thinking about is college sports, just because it would be something new.