Carpe Diem-Seize the Moment

Sonam - Wichita, Kansas
Entered on December 10, 2008
Age Group: Under 18

Just like any other day, I was eagerly awaiting my mom’s arrival to pick me up from school. I was hanging out in the playground of my elementary school wondering what my mom had made for dinner that night. I heard my stomach growl and realized I should have finished my lunch instead of throwing more than half of it away. Suddenly I heard a honk and recognized it to be my mom’s car. As we rode along, I didn’t notice much at all. I was so consumed in the rumbling of my stomach; I didn’t pay attention to much. I didn’t see the people outside walking down the streets; I didn’t notice the birds flying south for winter or the leaves falling from the trees. I was so in tune with myself that I really didn’t care to see anything.

Suddenly I felt the urge to look back over my shoulder as we were stopped at a red light. And that is where it happened. I saw a man wearing barely anything, dressed in a few small rags. He reached his grimy hands into a dumpster, and I thought to myself ‘what in the world is he doing with that nasty trash’. All of a sudden, he picked up a piece of trash and stuffed it right into his mouth, like it was no big deal. I was so shocked I didn’t know what to do, I stared some more at the strange man. Once again, he dug into the dumpster and picked out trash and ate it. He did this a few more times and each time I tried to look away. But for some reason I just couldn’t. I wished so much that the stoplight would turn green so I could be on my way and wouldn’t have to look at him any longer.

Each piece of trash he put into his mouth reminded me of all the precious food I threw away earlier that day. This poor man was digging around in the dumpster in hopes of finding a dinner of some sort; while I possess the luxury of wasting food and knowing I can have some anytime I want. These types of situations occur on a daily basis to millions of people around the world. Ever since the day I saw the poor man scrounging around in the dumpster to find food, I vowed to never intentionally waste food. I also found a new appreciation to the possibilities that are open to me. Not everyone possesses the same opportunities I am available to and oftentimes I do not appreciate them. With the horrors I witnessed that day, I learned to value and make use of everything. I believe in never wasting the opportunities that are open to us and appreciating them to the fullest. I believe in never wasting anything in life, no matter what it be, food and opportunities included. This, I believe.