“Every day she walked into the school at the height of about five feet five with the statement "I'm Different" plastered across her flamboyant personality. Her hair was Persian blue, and her eye shadow always matched her fastidious clothing choices that consisted of yellow top and blue shorts one day or white top, pink skirt the next, all with matching accessories. Her nails were freshly manicured with self- designs to keep them extra fly. Her glamorous smile lit up the room. She walked with such charm that made haters walk the other way because they couldn't touch her. She was as colorful as a rainbow lorikeet, as graceful as a swan, and as peaceful as a restless lion herd on a beautiful calm night. Engaging in a conversation with her was like laughing at a jubilant comedian while talking to an articulate human being. She was just that well rounded. She didn’t have a certain clique that she stayed isolated with. She saw the world as a place to study and learn ethnic diversity, and share in common causes such as world peace , and better school lunches; she felt that being enslaved in a certain group would never allow her to embark on the many magnificent things the world had to offer and that is why she always kept and open mind to people and things. She was the type of girl that girl’s passionately wanted to hate, but desperately wanted to be like. If a boy tried to get with her, you had to pass her checklist of specific requirements, because she didn’t like the sex-driven, drug addicted, wanna be hard type of dude. She wanted a clean guy with a purpose, and a future. So for the most part she just had a lot of guy friends. She changed the way lake view high school student’s viewed themselves. When people asked her why she dressed the way she did. She would something like “I like wild colors because their fun, I like fly clothes because their hot, I like all types of people because they aren’t robots and I love me because I’m me. There’s no way I can wake up every morning and put my clothes on and brush my teeth without first mentally checking myself to make sure I can walk down the halls with my head held high proudly displaying I am who I am, if you don’t like it then stay off me, if you hate me then leave me, if you like me then be friends with me.” She taught people that being different is fun, loud, and self- satisfying. Through her personality she taught people that being yourself gives you the freedom to take on the world. Through her style she defined fierce and radical; it lets you tackle life with an all my haters look at me type of attitude with bold definition to round it off. She walked with self- poise that made even the teachers proud to walk with her. Her overall persona was beautiful; she didn’t ignore the geeks, she didn’t call out the shy, and she didn’t make anyone feel like they were less of a human being, and didn’t treat anyone like they were an absolute god (popular kids). She was loving, sweet, respectful, and that’s why she was deeply loved. She was the luminary captain of unique and widely acclaimed best all around in the yearbook. She was happy of the impact she made as she looked at her yearbook and closed on her senior year.” I looked up at the audience, lightly pulled my glasses back up, wiped the sweat off of my forehead, and attempted eye-contact as I proceeded on with my speech. “Today Mr. Heartmen told us to write what we think a true leader is?” Steadily as I paced myself staring at the auditorium desperately wanting my heart to stop beating so unnecessarily fast because I was sure everyone in the class could hear it, I continued on. “To me a leader is a person who willingly put’s themselves out there to be an example, someone who dares to be different in order to be the same and someone who let’s their personality stomp on the hypocrisy that everyone has to be down with the latest fashion and dancing to the latest beats. A true leader is okay with being loved and hated and accepts themselves for who they are 24/7” I all of a sudden got nervous because everyone was just looking at me, some were gawking at me, some were just staring emotionless, and some were smiling. Then I heard a clap from the back of the room and everyone including the teacher looked back and stared at the shyest kid in the school standing up showing his approval, nodded approvals were being gestured throughout the room as other kids joined in clapping and whistling with him. From that moment I realized that you can be a leader just by standing up and clapping and even the biggest difference between people (shy and confident) can bring unity among the most diverse group that makes up the student body.
April 15, 2010