Alexandra - Lake Oswego, Oregon
Entered on January 23, 2009
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: change

“If only, if only,” the woodpecker sang, “if only I could sit on that higher tree.” We don’t realize it, but not everyone is always content with what they have and always ask for more.

Never grasping how special and amazing the things we have are. That is why I believe in being grateful for all you have.

Living in the United States, it’s hard to understand what a wonderful life we have compared to others. The United States gives a lot of freedom to the people, and we don’t even realize it. Such as when a phone company comes out with a new phone and everyone wants it. A few months later the company comes out with newer phones that everyone wants. But people in some parts of the world don’t even have phones.

I am from a multi-cultural family. I have a Dutch dad and a Middle-Eastern American mom. My life began in the United States but before my first birthday moved to Holland. Life in Holland was great; I had many friends and lived in a great neighborhood. Never had I thought of moving to the Unites States. It didn’t even cross my mind, until the day my dad told us we would be moving. Shock and fright were the two emotions running through my head. There was no way my parents could make me move to the United States.

Eventually, though, when I turned eight we did move. At first I hated it! I hated not having friends, not knowing the language, not knowing how to spell, and not knowing much about the culture. During school days I would walk around the old brown playground and kick small bark-chips everywhere. Once I got used to everything and made some new friends, I began to realize how grateful I should be for finally having friends. How much more fun living in the US could be when I had friends to count on. Without moving here I would have never been able to see how special friends had such a great impact.

Another thing I realized to be grateful after moving here was education. Although we do have schools and teachers in Holland the school system was not as adapted to each and every individual. In Holland, if you exceeded in one subject you automatically moved up a grade. But here if you excel at math than other subjects you go to an advanced math class, but don’t have to skip all the important educational learning.

Although I may not have liked moving to the US at first, I’m glad I had the chance to do it. The experience has also taught me to be grateful for great friends, good education, and even the chance to learn about a new country. This I believe.