This I Believe This work is considered exceptional by our editorial staff.

May 2, 2011
By
I believe in the power of noticing the small things.

Visiting Paw-Paw and Grandma was never easy for me. I struggled to keep pace with their fast movements, and I resented having to rely on my dad to translate what they were asking. Worst of all, I felt ashamed that I could never convey what I had wanted to to Paw-Paw and Grandma without long pauses to take corrections from my dad about the positioning of my right hand. Though I tried to learn sign language from the rumpled book that lay on the coffee table in my dad’s living room, I failed to overcome the challenges of my grandparents’ deafness. Consequently, my time at Paw-Paw and Grandma’s house often consisted of disappointingly simple greetings followed by a couple of hours of television (either sports or the news) with closed captioning. Thus, I relied upon only observing Paw-Paw and Grandma to get to know them more personally my own way. I witnessed the intricate ways in which they talked to each other through sign language, how my grandma used her strong sense of smell to accurately recognize each grandkid despite her blindness and deafness, and many other minute details.

Though I regret not having the fulfilling relationship I had desired with my grandparents, I understand that that lack of communication has directly affected who I am today. My perceptive visits with Paw-Paw and Grandma fade into how I interact with my peers. Because I pride myself on having an awareness of my surroundings, my observing practice at Paw-Paw and Grandma’s house translates into how I value the minute actions of others around me. As a naturally shy girl, I most likely won’t introduce myself first, but I willremember your name, your infectious laugh and even the color of your nail polish. And I most likely won’t be the student volunteering to present my project first in the front of the class, but I will always express gratitude that you had the courage to raise your hand first, even though I sensed your anxiousness. Noticing and retaining the small details and facts that others may find trivial gives me better insight into the personalities behind the faces.

While I understand that grandiose gestures hold importance in this life as well, the small acts tend to resonate more with me because the small things mostly happen when a person believes no one else is watching. Thus, noticing the supposedly insignificant gestures reveals true character, an element of utmost importance when choosing trustworthy friends.

The small things count only if you notice them. This I so adamantly believe.





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