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Young Writers Project: Can You Hear Me?

07/02/12 5:00AM
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Margaret Slate, a sophomore at Peoples Academy in Morrisville, says this about writing: “My reason for writing is simple: it lets me express feelings that nothing else can. I’ve always loved to draw, but my abilities, or lack thereof, hinder my attempts to really show how I feel. Writing comes so naturally and flows easily when I’m feeling strongly about something. I love the way the words flow, and the exhilaration of new thoughts expanding and blossoming on paper is such an indescribable feeling.”

Can you hear me? This is important to me
By Margaret Slate
Grade 10, Peoples Academy

Hey everyone.

Can you hear me?

Listen up please, because I want to ask you something. I want to make you think, even just a little. If you disregard this, fine. But I hope someone can hear me. Here goes nothing…

When was the last time you made someone smile? Not a funny joke you told, not a superficial, artificial, fake laugh-cause-they-are grin, but really smile. Made someone's heart so happy that it just brimmed up too fast and spilled across their face? Gave someone something they really needed: food, help, a friend?

When was the last time you smiled? Why is it all too often too long ago to remember? Why don't more people get up the nerve to be different and help someone? Not because it's cool, not because it's fun, and certainly not because it's easy. So many people would tell you they'd love to volunteer, but given the opportunity, let it slip; forget; just flat out say, no thanks.

See now, I've kind of learned something recently – you don’t have to be the president and change the whole world to make a change in someone else's world. Smiling at the cashier on your way out, giving someone that extra change they need, donating food for people who are grateful to be alive. We gorge ourselves on society, and forget that people struggle. I’m not here to tell you to volunteer, to raise a million bucks for homeless people, to become a missionary (though that would rock). I’m just asking you to become aware. To realize that people need help, need a friend, need a smile. I’ve realized this, and I’m a better person because of it. I don’t have a thousand community service hours, I hold doors for people. I give them the better seat, I let them go first, I share what I can. I try to smile often and take the harder road because someone who’s having a bad day will feel a little better without that problem, too.

I know that one person can change the world, one person at a time. I know that we don’t have to take down big industries or alter our resources to make the world a better place. I hope that sometime in my life I can make at least one person really smile, because then I’ll know that I’ve changed the world for the better.
What can you do? The best advice I’ve ever heard: the secret to life is to wake up excited about what you are going to do, and go to bed proud of what you did. Who could lead a happier life? I hope that other people can figure this stuff out, and maybe go so far as to make someone else smile… because that would make my world a better place.

Thank you all for taking a moment to listen to me. I hope you'll think on this.

Have a nice day.

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