Wake Up

November 16, 2008
By Allysa M. G., Brooklyn, NY

“Wake up, I’m leaving in 20 minutes,” were the words I awoke to that gloomy Thanksgiving Day. I reluctantly rolled out of my warm bed and scurried to the bathroom to get ready for that memorable day. My brother was in his blue BMW honking his life away when I came strolling down the patio stairs. “Hurry up, some of us have a heart,” he said to me. “I do have a heart, I just don’t want to do this,” I replied. “Whether you want to or not, you’re doing it,” he returned. I rolled my eyes and decided to grin and bear it because soon I would return home to a nice warm Thanksgiving dinner.

One by one we took the trays of hot food up the stairs into the kitchen. The scent of the room sickened me. I was ready to leave. Noticing the disgusted look on my face, my brother gave me a pep talk. “Come on now, you can do this. These people deserve it. Nothing will happen. I’m right here with you,” he said to me. We were the last ones to bring food to the soup kitchen. As soon as we arrived, they began serving. Spending each Thanksgiving morning there, serving food, making underprivileged people happy was my brother’s tradition. He used to go with his church every year when he was younger and continued to go alone years after. But that year he decided to take me with him. I aversely agreed, not aware that this day would be the day that my view of life changed.

I remember distinctly how happy everyone was as they were being served their breakfast. I was actually the most bitter person there. It didn’t take long for everyone’s spirit to rub off on me. I was laughing and having fun and forgot about my prior feelings. But as I was laughing I began to think, “I ought to be more grateful, I have so much and people that are homeless and poor had to cheer me up.” They were comforting me and telling me that everything would be okay. They asked why was I so blue, but I was ashamed to say it was because I didn’t want to leave my nice big house and family for two hours to do something nice for someone else. Many of them didn’t even have family or a house and they were so happy, so satisfied and so grateful. And I was complaining about what to wear and the fact that it was so early in the morning.

It opened my eyes to see what a terrible person I was before. Because of that experience, I am now much more appreciative. I don’t take anything for granted and I realize that I have so much to be thankful for. I have a supportive family, good friends, a place to live and food to eat every day. It is unfair that there are people in the world that can’t afford even the necessities in life. I hope that sooner rather than later the gap between social classes is bridged and there is more equality.

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