From Selfish to Grateful
I was lazy and did not want to go. It was not fun, and I knew I would fall asleep. When I was in grade school, I went to a church where everyone stared you down like a beast eyeing its prey. I often felt out of my element and uncomfortable there. Because of those stares, I worried too much about my appearance. I was worried about what I could buy to make people like me. The things I owned and my appearance began to take over me as a person. It was something that would get me into trouble on a regular basis. I would go to parties, lie to my parents about where I would be, would disobey them, and I pretty much only cared about myself. I used to be too wrapped up in myself to care about other people’s welfare, but I can honestly say that I have changed so much. When I began high school; I began going to a different parish because my step brother played drums at church. I would attend church every Sunday, and I still do now. The people did not judge me because they were those that cared more about other people than themselves. This changed me to the point where I would go to church to actually be there spiritually. I would not receive the stares from people anymore; therefore, I did not have to worry about it all through mass. Instead, I could pay attention. When I first joined Messiah, I became involved in volunteer work. I did not understand why it was a requirement for me to have completed one hundred service hours. I believed it to be the most idiotic thing ever. I only wanted to do the service so that I could get confirmed and get it over with. I did not know how I would make it through one hundred service hours in two short years.
I have earned over three hundred fifty service hours from this program, which was well over the amount that I needed. I have completed most of my service hours doing community service through different programs at Messiah. I used to not care about other people. My thoughts were: if you were poor or did not have a lot, then it was your own fault. This sounds very harsh, but it was true at one point. I started to get involved in the youth group called CHAOS. We travel to a different cities and rebuild homes for less fortunate or elderly people. I have met so many new people in this program that have completely changed the way I see things now. There is one woman in particular that has changed my life, has helped me to become a better person, and has inspired me to keep my volunteer work going. Her name is Barbara, and I took part in fulfilling her dreams by working on her home that sadly needed so much work done. She sat down with us, so we could get to know her better, and we were shocked at what she told had to share with us. She was married in the past to a man of over twenty-five years, and he was very abusive towards her. Barb finally divorced him and found what she said to be, her soul mate. One morning after 4 ½ years of being married, she woke up to find her husband lying beside her, motionless. He had suffered a massive heart attack in his sleep. Just a few years later, Barb was diagnosed with breast cancer and was also dealing with the recent death of her mother, who was the last person she had left from her family. Her house was in terrible shape. She couldn’t even use her own bathroom because it was not safe for her to use. The floor was not sturdy and black mold was everywhere. When it would rain, she would have to put out several buckets so they would catch the water that dripped from the ceiling. There is a lot more to Barbs story; Barb has lived such a tough life and, yet she is a loving, caring, positive, good person. Barbara, as well as the many others that I have helped over the years, have opened my eyes and made me realize that everyone should feel lucky to have what they have.
Hope is the feeling that something desired may happen. I can now say that I have hope for those who are suffering in the world because of the many…