Change Is Achieved Through Reflection | Teen Ink

Change Is Achieved Through Reflection

April 13, 2018
By ChrisArenas BRONZE, Oakland, New Jersey
ChrisArenas BRONZE, Oakland, New Jersey
3 articles 0 photos 0 comments

“Mom just buy me the game, it's only $30”, I had always been able to get what I wanted and I would not let that change in GameStop today. My mom, very annoyed, bought me the game of course. I had about 40 other games back at my house, but I was still not satisfied. My days consisted of waking up late, playing video games with my friends, and going to sleep. Deep down inside I knew it was not healthy, but it was fun and that was all that mattered.
The day before spring break my mother had opened my door with a face full of excitement and a hand full of tickets. I personally was scared because I knew that anything my mother was excited for I was going to dread. I thought it was common knowledge that kids born in the 2000s had different interests than those born in the 1900s, but apparently, she didn’t get that memo. The thing she had been so excited for was our surprise vacation over spring break, to none other than Puerto Rico. Like expected, I absolutely hated the idea, for it meant that my plans of playing video games constantly over spring break were not achievable. It was as if my PS4 had called my name and I was blind to everything else. But the tickets had been purchased and there was nothing else I could do, I would have to let my spring break come to a waste so I could go to a country I didn’t even want to go to. Due to the short notice, I rushed to pack my bag with whatever clothes I could find. In the back my head I was thinking about all the games I was missing out on, but it was too late now, there was nothing I could do.
The following morning, we caught our flight and headed for our hotel. To my surprise, it had no wifi and contained barely any English-speaking people. My parents were ecstatic and I was apathetic. As we traveled throughout the country, I began to take notice of the people around me. I struggled to grasp the idea that they lived without iPhones or Playstations, no video games, no entertainment. The streets we passed consisted of people in worn down clothes, with rips in their pants and dirt on their skin. They walked almost zombie-like with no expression of excitement or happiness. It was clear that their situation was worse than mine.
As my vacation went by, I began to realize something about myself that I have been oblivious to my whole life. This was ungratefulness. The people around me were poor, had nothing and had bigger things to worry about than getting the newest video game. Yet all my life I begged to get new video games and was never satisfied. The trip I had once dreaded soon began to be the door to a new beginning, a new way of life. As my family and I traveled to the many tourist sites they had planned to visit, I started to reflect more and more on my life. I came to the conclusion that I could not fix the past, but I can improve the future. Silently, I made a promise to myself that from that point on I would be grateful for everything I had and not nag my parents to buy me things that would collect dust within a week.
Soon enough our vacation came to an end. There was no doubt that I returned to America a changed person, with a new perspective on life. The moment I stepped into my house I presented my family with a list of things I wished to donate. The list consisted of things I deemed unnecessary or things that I could live without, the intention was to give them to people who needed them, like those I saw on my vacation. This surprised my parents, but beneath their bewilderment, I could see the joy shining through, for their son had finally learned a lesson they had been tried to teach for years.

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