“Paying it forward” implies that you do something good without knowing the end result. Oprah demonstrate this on a grand scale on her television show by building her school in Africa, helping victims of hurricane Katrina, and giving money to charities. What about ordinary citizens that walk among us? My story is one of ordinary people impacting my life with their humility, unselfishness, and compassion.
This I believe; we are here to inspire each other’s thoughts and actions into meaning and life. For me it was never a celebrity but rather people closer to home: my family doctor, my fourth grade teacher, and my neighbors.
I would only go to see the doctor once a year to get a physical or the necessary shots for school but ever since I was three, I wanted the job he had. While most kids dreaded the sterile smell of a doctor’s office or tried whatever they could to avoid the chills of a stethoscope, I didn’t mind waiting, reading the posters that decorated the walls. It was not the money he earned or the title he would keep forever. It was the way he cared for my brother at his first medical check-up. It was his invitation for me to join him for the examination. It was the way he untangled my baby brother to record his measurements. I admired his work.
In fourth grade interest in science blossomed. Thanks to my teacher who opened her class’s eyes to the possibilities and wonders that were right beneath our noses. It was never a lecture in her class, but hands on discovery. If we had a question it was never just simply answered. Instead we were encouraged to perform thorough research and share our findings in some sort of presentation. With her inspiration I decided to take on the human brain for a graded project. My visual aid didn’t stop at the numerous internet photos, but using the comparison of an actual sheep’s brain. My curiosity took me to the source, and that is what I have taken away from that year. Curiosity and discovery will act as a guide in life.
Poverty dances around many families keeping them wondering how they can care for their kids. Sometimes social services intervene, placing kids in better homes. I often hear about how a family has waited three to four years to adopt a child from overseas. My neighbors didn’t wait years to make a difference in the lives of two children. From birth the odds were stacked against this brother and sister. Their frail premature stomachs could barely hold milk. Finally two lives were welcomed to a home of open hearts. Their sacrifices have shown me the impact of reaching out to a life that wasn’t your own.
Walking among these people I see how changing a life can be so simple, but I have to seize the moment at hand.
I believe ordinary people share their wisdom that alters the lives that surround them.
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