All Nonfiction Bullying Books Academic Author Interviews Celebrity interviews College Articles College Essays Educator of the Year Heroes Interviews Memoir Personal Experience Sports Travel & CultureAll Opinions Bullying Current Events / Politics Discrimination Drugs / Alcohol / Smoking Entertainment / Celebrities Environment Love / Relationships Movies / Music / TV Pop Culture / Trends School / College Social Issues / Civics Spirituality / Religion Sports / Hobbies
- Summer Guide
- College Guide
- Author Interviews
- Celebrity interviews
- College Articles
- College Essays
- Educator of the Year
- Personal Experience
- Travel & Culture
- Current Events / Politics
- Drugs / Alcohol / Smoking
- Entertainment / Celebrities
- Love / Relationships
- Movies / Music / TV
- Pop Culture / Trends
- School / College
- Social Issues / Civics
- Spirituality / Religion
- Sports / Hobbies
- Community Service
- Letters to the Editor
- Pride & Prejudice
- What Matters
Saturday June 20th 2009
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
The party had just ended; Eliza Morella Bey’s “Sweet 16”. After 4 hours of music blasting in her ears and nonstop dancing with her best friends Eliza was finally relaxed, lying in a soft green pasture, feeling happy and completely safe. It was sunny outside, around 76 degrees with a chilled breeze. She was alone and right now that was just what she needed. Being alone made her feel free, peaceful, at-ease.
Every Saturday she would come to this place, her sanctuary, and sit near the roots of the Great Oak Tree, the one and only tree planted on the pasture. The limbs, stretching over the area, created a seat of shade just for Eliza. She would watch as the fluffy white clouds passed slowly across the blue sky, in her own little world. Her mind would roam free of everything. Every problem, every feeling, she would just... dream. She would dream about love, about peace, about joy.
Today though, she felt different. She wanted to explore, she wanted to get up… to get out and try something new. That was the first time she had noticed the opening on the far right, just beyond the pasture, and she was now walking towards it.
The path was just up ahead and she started to get excited, thinking of all of the new adventures she could now go on. She stood still, watching as deer went dashing past the trees. They weren’t afraid of her and she wasn’t afraid of them. It was a different world here - calm, quiet, easy.
The path led to a clear, shallow pool of water and as Eliza slowly made her way, closer with every stride across the thick soil. Now on her knees, Eliza looked in. Her reflection was staring back at her, soft brown eyes, long black hair pulled back into a half-up, and half-down hairstyle with an over-sized pink flower pin holding it in place to match her frilly party dress. Her skin was smooth and caramel colored, cotton-candy flavored lip-gloss coating her lips. She asked herself, "What do I want?”
Searching for the answer, she slowly got up and twirled around several times, now ankle deep in the water. It felt cool on her skin, it usually helped her think. But still nothing came to her.
She picked up a pebble, dropped it in the water and said, "I want...” noticing the ripples going out from where the pebble went it. When the ripples stopped and the water was still, Eliza took a deep breath and repeated again, "I want...” She thought harder about it then and found her asking herself why.
Why do people always want, want, want? Don't they realize what they already have? Isn't it good enough for them? Isn't it good enough for me.... To know that I have all that I need? Food, shelter, a family and plenty of friends that loves me, and a good education. What more could I possibly want?
Eliza made a decision. She wouldn't worry any more about what she wanted. She would focus only on the things that matter the most and the things that she needs. That's what made her different from the most teens at her school; she never really craved "stuff". She spent her money and time very wisely and was always thinking of others and helping them get what they need to survive, along with herself and her family. It was a good feeling for her; it was what she loved to do.
"I should start now."
And with that statement, that command, that promise that she was making to herself, Eliza got up and walked back through the pasture, to the city, to her family business, Girls Central. She was going to get a job there.
Her parents have been letting her off, saying she should focus more on school and her education than getting a job, and since her family was considered rich, she didn't really need to get a job. But Eliza was determined to work there. She could buy her own stuff, with her own cash. Her parents could save much more money that they could use to spend on things for themselves or other important things for the house, car, or Girls Central. Most importantly, she could help out the other girls in her town, in her state. After all... That is what this company is all about....
Sunday, June 21st 2009
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
In Eliza's speech class today she was told, along with her many other class mates, to give a speech on an organization that they are involved with. The other students in her school who wanted to “get involved” had also come. A total of 67 students and 9 teachers showed up that morning. Most of the speeches told of organizations that helped animals or the Salvation Army, nothing really “out there”. Eliza already had one in mind and immediately went onstage to share it with the audience, not the least bit nervous or afraid.
"Hello, my name is Eliza Michelle Bey and the organization that I am currently involved with is Girls Central. Girls Central first opened its doors in 1884, named The Girls Club of America, and owned by my great-great grandmother, Cecelia Bey. Its mission of inspiring all girls to be strong, smart and bold still continues and more girls are becoming a part of this every week, every month, every year. I remember once watching a group of girls in the science and math program building a model of a flood plain and heard 14-year-old girls discussing the impact of flooding on low lying areas, analyzing its effect on people and the environment. I heard a group of 7-year olds talking about self-esteem and what it means to feel proud of something you've accomplished. I met a 10-year old and saw in her face the dawn of recognition that Girls Central is not just a center in her town, but a national organization that affects the world in a big way that she now knows she is part of. These moments, and what they add up to, matter to all of us and to our future together. And it's my turn now. This business has been passed down from generation to generation… to me. It’s time for me to start understanding this, so I can start building a better life for myself and for many of the other girls in our town, and also so that I will be ready to take charge of Girls Central when it is my time."
Eliza had proven to herself that this was that only thing in life that she really wanted, and the greatest thing that she would ever need.