greedy vs. gratitude

Shannon - Hilliard, Ohio
Entered on May 22, 2008
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: children

Childhood is a time of carelessness and innocence. This is a time when everything is done for you, and the reality of life is not yet understood. It’s a time when you think life will be this easy forever, and when getting up early on Saturdays to watch cartoons and “playing” with your friends till dusk is normal. Whether I like it or not, I’m leaving my childhood behind. New doors are beginning to open while others are now slowly closing. I recently turned 16, and suddenly, everything is different. The security of my parents handling everything for me is gone. As I grow up, I am beginning to realize how hectic and sometimes harsh life can be. Many consider my age as still being a child but I do not agree. Watching t.v. and eating until noon is becoming a distant memory, while doing homework and preparing for the next day until one in the morning is becoming reality.

Although my childhood is gone, I have learned things which will stick with me for a lifetime. Without any way of controlling it, my life is constantly changing. It’s changing at a pace so fast that even I can’t keep up anymore. Therefore, I have learned, and I do believe that it is important to never take what you have for granted. The sad reality is that, as old as some people get, and as many age spots and wrinkles that appear, they continue thinking like a child. They live in a fantasy world and they don’t think anything will change or get any more difficult. Day to day, people dream about what they could have or think about how much better their lives would be if this or that happened to them. Do these same people ever stop for a moment to think about what they already have?

The thought of always appreciating what and who you have in your life isn’t an original idea, and I can’t take any credit for it, but this does not take away from its importance. Focusing on the good in your life, instead of what you’d rather have, results in a happier life, which will benefit everyone. I know this from experience. I grew up with my friend that lives five houses down. We lived our lives together, and she practically lived at my house, until this past summer. An argument erupted between us and two of my other good friends. This argument ended our friendship of seven years. As hard as we try, it’s impossible to go back. This may sound small and not very important, but it changed my life. Each and every day, I regret that argument, but what I regret even more is taking our friendship for granted when we were friends. A year ago, I would have never fathomed this happening, but it did, and that’s life.

Because of that incident, I now appreciate everyone in my life and how they are contributing to my happiness. This can happen to anyone. In a heartbeat, everything can change. We can’t stop this from happening, but what we can control is to what extent we appreciate what we have and everyone around us.