You Gotta Work for It.
Hi my name is Michael. I live in Los Angeles with my parents in pretty good neighborhood that’s mostly upper middle class. Compared to most I have pretty lenient parents. One time my friends and I were playing basketball in the driveway with a new hoop I got and were trying to dunk. We picked each other up to hang on the basket since we just got the new basketball hoop but my dad hadn’t put any sand inside of it to keep it down. The hoop fell down and put a dent the hood in my dad’s new BMW. My parents were upset but didn’t punish me since I was having fun with my friends and it was an accident. I go to a private school in town but I don’t like it. I hate dressing up to school because it is uncomfortable. My grades aren’t the best either. My parents push me and want me to do well and really emphasize that school is what will determine my life but I don’t bother. I am kind of lazy and don’t like doing homework and just put it off every day if I can. My dad has tried to teach me how to do yard work like mowing the lawn and stuff and I tried at first but eventually he gave up and just did it himself. One night I had this weird dream. I was an adult and was traveling all over the world and being adventurous. I went everywhere from exotic islands to the freezing arctic. I travel to big cities and meet with people because I’m a successful salesman for a big tech company. Tonight, I go to bed and hope for the exact same dream.
I wake up lying down on a hard surface. I look up to see what looks like a big curtain. I look around and notice I’m in a tent. There’s a rifle next to the door flap. Over me is a big piece of animal fur for a blanket. Is this real animal skin? I look underneath and I see that I’m fully naked. I get up and look for something to wear. There more animal skins in the corner. Am I an Indian? I go over and put them on and grab my rifle as I head outside. Immediately I hear gunfire and women screaming. I quickly see what's going on and notice an army of white soldiers coming into the Indian village. They are shooting and killing everyone they see no matter women or children. I pick up my rifle to fire but I miss my first shot. People are running away in the woods but many are shot and killed. A little boy has fallen over as his older brother could not carry him anymore. I want to help because I know of the terrible things the Americans did to the Indians. I grab the little boy and run for my life to get this boy safe. Running as fast as I can in this new body, I follow all of the other villagers to the woods. As soon as I pass a thick line of brush I look back to see the white soldiers completely destroying the village. There are dead bodies everywhere but most of them are Indians that weren’t prepared for attack. Tents are being throw all over the place as the soldiers look to kill every straggler trying to hide. I run back into the thick foliage to meet up with the other Indians. The other men are rounding up all the weapons they have as the women and children are trying to find any family that survived. The men are planning to fight back as the women and children flee to another village. As soon as everything is ready we grab our rifles and go back to the ruined village. I realize that because of what I did I saved the kid’s life with just a bit of bravery. I am determined now to avenge these people who had their family and long-time home destroyed. All of a sudden, I hear a gunshot fire and feel immense pain in my back and fall to my knees. I see the women and children scream and run away instantly as the other men turn toward the gunshot. In the dark I barely see the white soldier and take a shot at him. His body falls but before I could tell if he was dead or not I pass out on the ground from my wound.
I open my eyes and notice I’m sitting down in an old and rusty park bench. Immediately I notice the huge crowd in front of me. I see signs saying “End Segregation!” and “Voting Rights Now!” I remember this from history class. This is a civil rights walk. I get up and join the crowd but notice I’m old and also African American like most of the protestors. I know this is for a good cause so I chant with them walking through the street until I see the Washington Monument. Then I realize I’m in Washington D.C. Slowly the crowd starts going quiet but I don’t know why. People then start whispering and pointing to the Lincoln Memorial. That’s when I see Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. I got excited as I realized this is the I Have a Dream speech by him. I couldn’t believe it as I listened to the whole speech. From his speech I could see how badly he wants this and even convinces me to stay here and fight for the justice all of these people need. The famous “I have a dream” line really hit me because I had learned how this speech was so motivational for African Americans everywhere. The crowd roars deafeningly at the end which hurt my ears so bad because I have the hearing aids turned so high up. I close my eyes, covere my ears, and wince at the pain.
I open my eyes again and look at one of those old looking white box computers with a bunch of code on the screen. I’m sitting at an old looking wooden desk cluttered with papers, pencils, and some other office supplies. I’m in a small room but then notice it’s a garage because one of the walls is actually a garage door and can see it’s nighttime outside through the window. I try to get out of the uncomfortable wooden chair I’m in but notice that unlike the other people I was in I can’t control myself. I move my arm up without my control and can see the plastic watch that says 11:02. I get up now and can see a big sheet of paper on the wall with “amazon.com” spray painted in purple on it. Am I in the body of the founder of Amazon? This setup looks pretty crappy for the richest man in the world. I walk out of the garage into the kitchen and see a calendar out of the corner of my eye and see the year in large font, 1999. As I make my way upstairs I say, “Goodnight dad” but I just notice the man sitting on the couch reading a book.
“Goodnight Jeff,” he replies back. I head into my bedroom and instantly fall asleep after a long day working on the computer. I am in Jeff Bezos, the founder and CEO of Amazon who will become the richest man in the world in 2017. From what I’m seeing he started his company in his parents’ garage without much.
“Michael wake up,” my mom yells at my bedroom door. I roll out of bed and go to my bathroom to get ready. I think about the weird dreams I had last night. They were not the kind of dreams I wanted to have. I had dreamed of myself in the body of Jeff Bezos, the CEO of Amazon which is now the largest online retailer in the world and the richest man in the world worth over $100 billion. He started his company in just his parents’ garage and took the risk of leaving his job on Wall Street. At the Martin Luther King Jr. speech, I could feel the determination and motivation in the African Americans to fight for their freedoms. The Indians were wiped out but I feel accomplished because I actually was brave enough to use my own life to save a little boy and change his life forever. That’s what I want to do now in my life. I quickly got ready and remembered I had the math test that I didn’t bother studying for last night. With my extra time I study as much as I can because right now I don’t know why I feel so motivated to do this. School is an average day but I feel like I did a lot better than usual on the math test. As I am going home I see an ad for a new pair of headphones I wanted.
I had asked my parents before to get me it but they said I needed a job myself to pay for it. All of a sudden, I burst out to my mom, “I want to get a job.”
“Why?” my mom askes.
“I don’t know I just feel more motivated to do something,” I reply. I want to grow up and change the lives of others.