Rhea - Sugarland, Texas
Entered on February 27, 2009

“True happiness is not getting what you want, but wanting what you have.” -Unknown.

I always wondered why the unthinkable happened to me -why Hurricane Ike severely damaged my house. Something like this never happened to me before. I was stunned, helpless. It felt unreal, like a dream. I vividly remember the morning during the storm. My mother and I had been running around since 3 a.m. putting towels and buckets under leaks and windows. At 6:00 a.m. we looked outside; the sky, still pitch black, hurled out wind and rain. Then the piercing sound of the smoke detectors filled our ears. I panicked, frozen in fear, trying to decide what to grab. My dad opened the front door and I shot out the door. We all crammed into his ramshackle car, shivering and staring tearfully at the shingles flying away in the wind. The car was shaking as if at any moment it would flip over and fly away. Until now, I haven’t really thought about how Katrina survivors were affected. Katrina blew away everything some families owned. At least we had a chance to go back and retrieve our belongings. I realize how selfish it was to cry over what happened. I should in fact be grateful I can cry at all, and I’m not dead or laying in a coma. There is no way to fully prepare for these things. Everyday, children are starving, homeless, and dying of deadly diseases. Yet, in the same world, Donald Trump may be sipping tea from gold-trimmed cups. If you actually take the time to think about other people, you’ll discover that humans take a lot for granted. Think about that half-eaten pop tart you threw away – I’m pretty sure a starving child in India or Africa would shed tears of joy over a moldy piece of bread.

Next time you walk into a toy store, keep the needy kids in your minds. The ones who cherish every crumb they get. Maybe you should spend some time in the shoes of the less fortunate. If they are lucky enough to have some.