A Lesson in Hope This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

   I may not be the wisest person on this planet, but I will tell you a little secretto happiness: Help others, and live life. It is that simple. Just help a friendstudy for a test, or volunteer at a nursing home. Go out with your friends andhave a good time. I learned this after a long, hard search.

I was feelingreally down because my long-time friend had died. Then I started a six-week stintvolunteering at a nursing home all day every Sat-urday. My routine was to set upthe kitchen area for breakfast, serve the meal, clean up, and then set up theactivity of the day, usually a rousing game of Bingo. After that, I would eitherwalk around the home or sit in the office and wait for the head nurse to tell mewhat to do.

One day I was told to go to Room 117 to make sure the patientwas all right. The nurse said she never wanted to go in because it would breakher heart. I was curious to see what would make a nurse, who looked like shecould curl me, cry. In the room I found a boy of eight sitting in his bedwatching a movie. I was shocked to see a child in this seemingly forgottennursing home for older people. He was so small and frail that you had to lookclosely to find him. He motioned for me to come sit down. I grabbed his chartwhere I read some large medical word; later I found out it was a terminalillness.

We started to talk, and I found out that his family rarelyvisited, and all he did every day was watch TV. I wanted to cry for him, and formy lost friend. As we talked, he had a smile on his face, and I asked him why.

"The entire two hours I've been here you've never lost thatsmile. With this horrible disease, how do you still manage to stay happy?"

He thought for a moment, and then said that too many people are dead evenbefore they die. They walk around feeling that God has cursed them and that theyhave nothing to live for. The boy said that he would not be like that. He wakesevery morning thankful he has seen another sunrise. He keeps his window open sothat he can smell the flowers and feel the heat of the sun. He also said that hehas hope.

"Too many people haven't seen much of that aroundhere," he said. He said that life is full of hope and we need to live lifebefore it is gone.

I don't know what happened to him. I assume he passedaway, but his lesson lives on. I now wake up and live each day to the fullest.The key to life is not money or fame, but the lessons we learn from it.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.

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This article has 4 comments. Post your own now!

ruturaj said...
Nov. 19, 2013 at 12:01 pm
just when i started feeling sick about myself ,and i read this ! feels back to life !thanx a ton for this . :)
VarsityCheerGirl916 said...
May 24, 2010 at 6:41 pm
Whoa! That is all I can say to this article. It was astonishing for me to read. You always experience the moments that touch your life the most when you stop looking. It just happens when it is meant to and there is nothing we can do to change it. Thank you for this article :) It made me smile :)
Kkrazy This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Apr. 10, 2010 at 2:36 pm

that was absolutely amazing. and very heartwarming.


KarianaGold said...
Nov. 29, 2009 at 11:32 am
That is a great article it really opened my eyes
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