No Shame in Trying

Darwin - San Francisco, California
Entered on December 15, 2008
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: work

I believe that there is no shame in trying one’s hardest. Many slackers believe that they are “cool” because according to them, while the rest of the world does work, the slackers live the easy life. I pity these slackers because they miss the emotional satisfaction of success.

When I entered fifth grade, I had already heard of the mystical “trophy” that so many kids supposedly earned. A student, who knew I had never held an honor, offered to sell me his medal for basketball for a dollar. Although the transaction appeared quite tantalizing, I could not complete it because my gut told me otherwise. What I did not know then was that a trophy represents the memory of earning the award. When my teacher announced the book report medal, I knew I had a new purpose. All year I wrote reports on novels such as Captain Underpants and The Chronicles of Narnia. Nevertheless, there came a point when I ran out of books during the final stretch. I desperately wanted the first place medal and needed only two more books to continue to have a shot at the title. For the first time on my journey, I began to falter. My rational side told me to quit and put my time towards other endeavors. However, I had to follow the louder voice commanding me to show the world my persistence. One fateful evening, my teacher imposed the job of throwing out recycling bins onto me as a punishment for misbehavior. Finished with the mess, I noticed two books dumped in the recycling and deemed obsolete by the School District’s current curriculum. Morale soared, and I spent all night reading My Side of the Mountain by Jean George and Buffy the Vampire Slayer by Richie Tankersley Cusick and writing up my reports. Today, my first gold medal hangs across my bed, but I don’t see gold; I see the hard work put into the venture, the rush of the finish line, and my run in with fate.

Sure, any slacker who could best me in this contest by slacking off and stealing other people’s book reports, but what would he gain? Nothing but junk in the form of a round piece of metal painted with gold. He would have no emotional attachment nor have memories pertaining to the clutter that makes his room messier thus causing him to eventually throw it away.