Since when did believing in something become funny, I wondered. I asked this question---what do you believe in, to sixteen of my friends, thirteen of whom responded by saying I don’t know, and the other three “Give me a second, let me think about it.” Many people reckon that China in on the verge of being a land that tends to breed more cynicism and hatred than belief, and others argue that this trend is merely a natural outcome of excessively rapid social and economic development.
Conventional wisdom casts belief in simplistic religious terms, in part explaining young people’s absence of belief in our country. Believing in something, however, doesn’t necessarily amount to being religious. It could be creeds and principles you adhere to, it could be a dream you have never given up, and it could be simply anything that would influence others and make their lives different.
I believe I can make a difference in this world. Back then in secondary school, my friend and I collected empty bottle and cans for a whole semester nearly everyday after school. We squash and flatten them, put them in sacks and sell them. At the end of the semester, we counted the amount of money exchanged by those empty bottles, 15 cents for each. We raised 108 yuan, 60 cents for poor pupils in West China who eat coarse food, have no access to abundant water and study in shabby rooms. It was not much money we had raised, but we believed we could make a difference for those kids
Now I’m a junior student doing a Bachelor’s degree in East China, and I am doing my best to help others. I volunteered to sell post-cards to raise money for last year’s earthquake, I taught English and Chinese in unprivileged rural schools in my city, and I went to nursing homes with my friends to take care of the old, as I believe I can make others’ lives better.
Lu Anke, who hailed from Germany, believes he can make a difference in education, and he’s volunteered as a teacher in Guangxi for over ten years, though he was misunderstood by many people; Chen Dahui, an anchorman in CCTV, believes he can make a difference in culture, and he resigned, dedicating himself to promoting traditional value and culture in our fast-paced society, though he barely earns any money; the fifty Japanese soldiers believe they can make a difference in the catastrophe, and they volunteered to stay in the nuclear reactors to stop the possible fallout and meltdown, though they are not likely to come out again.
Similar instances can also be found around us. A retiree from my university, a 60 year-old man, is now serving as a gardener, trimming the bushes and watering the plants in the campus; a fifty-eight year old lady is now running a barber’s shop in my community; she offers free haircut for the handicapped and the poor; and you’re very likely to see an old man providing free water in scorching summers for passers-by. These people did not win any applaud; and they never expect to be heard by others; they are silently contributing to this world, as they all believe they are making a difference in this world.
No matter young or old, rich or poor, ill or healthy, contributing to the society and leaving one’s foot-prints in this world is everyone’s desire. I firmly believe that we can make a difference.