The Beginning of Hope This work is considered exceptional by our editorial staff.

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Outside the confines of my small, square bedroom,
Sirens are wailing.

Outside the confines of my small, square bedroom,
Children are hungry.

Outside the confines of my small, square bedroom,
Disasters are striking.

Outside the confines of my small, square bedroom,
Wars are never-ending.

Sirens are wailing the desperation of someone in need. Their flashing red and blue lights warn the world to step aside while they cling to the last remaining hope of saving the life of a brother, a daughter, a mother, a friend. Hidden beneath the sirens are some of the world’s most true heroes- they don’t wear capes, they possess no superhuman powers, and they don’t even have their own theme song, but they deliver the potential of renewed life to those in need. Not enough people recognize these heroes- their strength, their courage, and their determination in the face of danger.

Honor them.
Celebrate them.
Cherish the life you’ve been given, and the lives of those around you.
But even more, understand that the world is full of death and destruction, and sometimes, even the true heroes cannot emerge victorious, unless you help them.

The children are hungry for the food of nourishment. They require no chef, no seasoning, no 5-star restaurant, and no tall, double-shot mocha frappachino, just a clean drink of water. They have learned to channel a strength within themselves in order to withstand days without even a simple carbohydrate- and its time for the world to see these heroes for who they really are- children with the potential to become true men and women with the power to change the world with a vision. But they can’t do it alone. Alone, they couldn’t make it through another day. They need you to give up the luxuries that you could live without, the indulgences that you make on a daily basis that do not constitute as a necessity for your health and well being.

If you do, the hungry children will survive tomorrow, and the day after. And before you know it, those 2 days will become 2 months, and 2 years and finally, a lifetime filled with hope and second chances.
So act, don’t think.
Now, not tomorrow.

Disasters are striking the nations whose land is tattooed by the scars of devastation- hurricanes, earthquakes, tornadoes, pandemics. Destruction does not hit those who are strong, but those who are weak. Unpredictable in its nature, you never know when it will hit. But one thing is certain, it will always surprise. Sometimes, it leaves no room for healing.
Sometimes, it aims to completely wipe out an entire community of people- young and old, big and small, good and bad.
But you can’t let it!
Victims of these disasters are stronger than you think- and they have an indescribable will to pick themselves up, dust themselves off, and live.
So give them that chance!
Start with the choice to sacrifice a piece of your life- whether its time, or money, or efforts.
From there, you can be the one who starts a revolution of people working together to rebuild the lives and homes of those who’ve been blind sighted by disaster.

The cycle of wars is never-ending- here, there, and everywhere. It doesn’t have to be World War 3 for soldiers to become casualties. A soldier is someone, anyone, who is fighting a battle bigger than them. It can be the girl walking down the hallway, battling the tears, the snickers, and the rumors. Tempted and tried, she reaches her arm out to grab the drugs in front of her- her fingers are centimeters away from an escape that the world alone fails to offer her day in and day out. She is so close, but when she looks up and sees your smile, she finds a hidden will to stop. You can give her something more powerful than any drug. You can give her a second chance. And when you do, she becomes a hero. She stands up, and refuses to become a casualty in the war against vanity and bullying. She wipes away the tears, and with a touch of confidence she begins to walk the halls with an air of dignity that had been absent before. Nothing and no one can stop her.

It may be the boy who, under the tough guy exterior, is hiding a flood of tears and a heart full of pain and confusion. Sitting down for dinner at his friend’s house, he can’t help but wonder why it seems that everyone else gets to have a perfect family. He goes home to a house filled with anger and resentment as his drunken father throws yet another beer bottle at the wall, shattering it to pieces. The faint yet ever present scars remind him of the choices he has made to ease the pain of rejection. He picks up the knife that has been lying dormant under his pillow for weeks- prepared to end his life for fear of looking in the mirror and see his father staring back at him. But in a moment of true courage, you can show this boy the hope that lies within. A simple smile, or just one word, is all it takes for this boy to believe in second chances. You will see the hero inside of him rise up as he grabs every single beer bottle and throws it out the door. He is the soldier, the warrior and in the midst of it all, he embraces a power within himself. Nothing and no one can stop him.

Outside the walls of my ever-growing community,
The wailing of sirens is accompanied by the resounding voice of countless civilians ready and willing to help.

Outside the walls of my ever-growing community,
The hungry children have grown up to become men and women who’ve been given a second chance.

Outside the walls of my ever-growing community,
The destruction of hurricanes, earthquakes, tornadoes, and pandemics only serve to stir up the hearts of millions worldwide into immediate and effective action.

Outside the walls of my every growing community,
Heroes are rising up- stronger, faster, and better equipped to stand up and say, “No more.”

Outside the walls of the whole wide world,
The picture is growing brighter. We are all just one person, but together we can change the world. The beginning of hope starts now.





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This article has 4 comments. Post your own now!

Thesilentraven This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Sept. 22, 2010 at 5:30 pm
Succumbing to the brevity that has become a pattern among commentors, I will merely state that this is an incredibly inspiring article. It is well put together, and you deserve the (kind-of) surname The Great.
 
Macx14 said...
Sept. 22, 2010 at 5:13 pm
Very inspirational and moving writing!!
 
pookah22 said...
Sept. 17, 2010 at 2:25 pm
Great writing! I really like how you tied the beginning and end together. Also, for being a somewhat depressing topic the article does a good job of giving people hope.
 
Healing_Angel This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Sept. 16, 2010 at 10:33 pm
Nice. Good article.  
 
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