Everyday Heroes

Sarah - Grand Rapids, Michigan
Entered on November 5, 2008
Age Group: Under 18

A couple of weeks ago I was at a football game standing next to one of my close friends. We were behind some people I recognized from the hallways at school, but I didn’t really know any of them. At some point, I can’t remember exactly how it started; my friend started talking to these people. I don’t know why or how, but somehow this friend always ends up having random conversations with whoever is around us. If it was just me, I probably would have kept to myself and just talked to the people I already knew, but she always ends up reaching out to new people and making new friends.

About a week later, I had been working on the same chemistry problem for about twenty minutes and I wasn’t really making any progress. Frustrated, I sulked down to my dad to see if he could help and in about two minutes he had helped me to solve and better understand the problem. The material I could not understand seemed to come so easily to him and I couldn’t help but think about how unfair it was.

A few days later I was talking to one of my friends when I noticed the cool fabric bracelet she had on her wrist. I complimented her on it and she told me she had actually made it. I was really impressed because being as uncreative as I am the idea of making a bracelet out of some scraps of fabric and a button would have never even crossed my mind.

I look up to all three of these people for different reasons, but the main thing they have in common is that they possess a quality I don’t. My first friend is outgoing and friendly, my dad is talented in math and science, and my other friend is very creative. I have always looked to all of these people who have characteristics that are different from me and wished I could be more like them. I believe heroes are people that make up for what you lack. They are all strong in areas of life that you feel like you fall short. I’ve wished I could take all of my desired qualities and put them together to become “the perfect person.” The problem is that once I had all of those qualities, there would be other qualities opposite of my own I would wish I could have.

My outgoing friend has always said that she wishes she could get better grades in school like me and some of our other friends, whereas I have always wished I could be more like her. The truth of the matter is whatever your strengths and weaknesses are there are always going to be people who have qualities that you don’t have and those are the people who you can respect for the differences between you.

Interestingly, now when I am in social situations where I don’t know everyone, I have found that I am more likely to try to be like my outgoing friend and strike up conversation. I have found that I feel better about myself when I make that effort and the people I have talked to have been completely willing to have a discussion. It seems they were also not sure how to start conversation.