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Spirit of Giving
On the hot and humid summer day the kind of day when even the birds pass out and fall off the roof, I was at the mall in Houston looking for a new purse to use before departing to Accra, Ghana. Maybe all the sun made my brainwork a bit weird, but there it was the lovely, yellow Coach purse that seemed to stand out like a skyscraper in urban Texas. If you saw me, you would have seen me like Scrooge from A Christmas Carol, with the purse being money. This purse was so adorable, and I had to have it. The price of this gorgeously designed purse was one hundred dollars. I thought to myself, “Why is this purse so expensive? I wish the price would go down as I really want that purse. I can’t wait.” Well what did you know, not long after we had left for Ghana for the summer, it turned out the purse went on sale. Fortunately, I got the purse as a surprise from my mom for getting good grades on my report card. I thought back to when I got my report card, I couldn’t believe I got straight A’s on my report card. I worked so hard all year in 8th grade to go on my high school record. I am so happy, and I wonder what my parents will get me.
As my family and I departed to the airport for Ghana to head towards our vacation house, I saw children begging for money for food or water. I saw children with ragged clothes and dirt all over their faces. It’s such a sight. Then I thought of my purse that I wanted so badly, and its view for other people. I asked my mom, “Mom, do you think it’s bad that I want a hundred dollars so bad while there are children not even half my age who can’t even buy a loaf of bread or water?”
My mother answered, “It doesn’t make you an evil person, but you have to know you are blessed and turn that into something positive for other people.”
I think back to the first time my dad bought our vacation house. This house is way bigger than our house in Houston. The vacation house has a central air conditioning, well furnished, and other things an American house would have, and it’s located in the best neighborhood in Ghana.
The following week upon our arrival in Ghana we decided to go Aburi Mountains. I saw children getting water from the rivers and fishing. They would drink it even if it were dirty. They carry buckets to the river, so they can wash their clothes. Children who are even less fortunate bathe in the water. Wordless, I was when I saw this happening to many children. Some children will do anything to get water to drink. When a child carries their bucket, they put a soapy rag in it so no one else takes it. Even though some children do this, they still drink it because that is their style of getting water. They need a better system such as a pipe drinking water. How could this terrible thing be occurring in Africa today? What is God planning for the people of this country?
Later that mild summer my family and I went to Cape Coast Castle. Cape Coast Castle was a place where the slaves where traded to go all across the world. When we arrived at the Castle, a guide shared the background of how slave trade took place. He shared, “Before slave trade was abolished, most of the Africans were processed through Cape Coast and Elmina Castle to United States and other parts of the world.” Then he showed us the sightings of the wickedness. The first stop was the female slave dungeon. All females were put there. There was no sunlight and air going through there. It reeked of sweat because there was no air ventilation. Whenever a slave master felt like he wanted to have sex with a female, he would take a female slave. He took her to his room and abused her because there was nothing she could do to protest. I told myself how could another human being do this to another human being just because of the color of their skin. I mean they are all humans in spite of their skin color. They just used them for their selfish game.
Next we entered the male slave dungeon. It was dreadful and horrific. The male slaves just weren’t abused like the women. The slave masters put them to work. The men were whipped whenever the master felt like whipping them. Especially when the slave masters are drunk or being high spirited. How could they do this? It is just wrong. I thought back to, how blessed I am to be born of a different century. America is my home because I was born here, and I wasn’t forced here. I can trace back where my parents came from. Then we left, and I just kept thinking about it.
We also saw the kitchen and entering the kitchen there was a Bible verse. It was Psalm 137. I saw this, and I could see they still had hope. Looking at this verse you can see that they knew God had a plan for them to get out of this wickedness. I reflected back when my mom stated to me, “Hey, did you know that even though some of the Africans live in poverty, they still worship the Lord with all their hearts and mind.”
I announced, “They did. How could they keep believing and being strong of the wickedness that was occurring?”
“They knew God had a plan for them and was going to lead them out of slavery,” my mom explained.
We arrived at the top of the castle. It was so magnificent and amazing. It was like being at the beach walking with your father as a little girl and dreaming about how he loved you. The waves reminded me as if it was God pulling his arms in and out. After I saw these spectacular waves, I realized God had a plan and purpose for the ones living in poverty. No matter what your life becomes God always has a plan for you. Then I saw a hideous room. It was the room where all slaves where shipped from Africa to other parts of the world. Families were separated and love ones were gone and never seen again. It was disastrous and felt like all were lost forever. Now some families are looking for each other and hoping they are still alive. We left Cape Coast, and I wondered in my mind all the events that had happened. What has the world become? Is it because of hate or failure? I don’t know but think what may have happened to the slaves that had perished. Maybe I need to thank God more for what I have and what he has done for me.
We arrived home; I became more aware of how I need to appreciate what I have. I mean when I am in the car, and it is not big enough then I sometimes say I am squashed. Some people in Ghana do not even have cars they have to walk home or to school. We are so blessed that sometimes we are selfish. I love the Lord, and I am happy that he gave me blessed parents. I know that we need to appreciate how God has blessed us and how he has given too much to me. This experience leads me to give more of what I have instead of asking for more. Before I went to Ghana, I didn’t realize I had been blessed with so much. Now I know to appreciate all that I have, and that experience gave me the “spirit of giving.”