5.24.2008

How's That For Paving The Way...

I have 8 nieces and nephews. The oldest is my niece Jessica. She is my star-my numero uno. To know this kid is to know joy. To love her is to love perfection. I adore all of my nieces and nephews. I view them as if they are my own and I love them as if they are from my own body, but Jessica is the first. She was the first to get a tooth, to lose a tooth, to walk, to run, to talk, to sing, to start school, to get the first "A", to go to high school, to get her drivers permit, to go to prom. She will be the first to graduate from high school, the first to go to college, the first to graduate college... you get the picture. She is leading the pack. She is the example.

Jess is a Junior in high school. Last night was the Awards Banquet and you guessed it, Jessica walked away with numerous awards. The highlight of the night was the surprise that Jess won a scholarship! She had to hold a 3.0 average (which I believe her average is above a 4.0) had to participate in 2 school sports (Jessica not only participates in sports, she excels in them) and she had to write an essay.

Here is her essay:

“Life is a long succession of choices and dreams. How important are the decisions
that I make today in affecting tomorrow?”

How important are the decisions I make today? It would seem that little, day to day choices are not going to really change my future. It would seem that big decisions are what count. However, it is the small, little choices in life that lead to the big decisions. It is the small decisions which form how you react to the large ones. And it is the small decisions that in time form who a person becomes, who I will become.

I have often heard that if you are not to be trusted in the small tasks, then you will never be given the opportunity to prove yourself in the larger ones. All too often it is the small, everyday occurrences which people wave away as “unimportant.” But it is the small, everyday tasks which form a person’s opinion of you. If a person is lazy and uncaring when entrusted with a small job, then they will not be allowed to reach for higher assignments. When a person makes a small, little choice not to do a homework assignment, to wash the cafeteria tables sloppily when they are on lunch duty, or only shoot nineteen free throws instead of the allotted twenty at basketball practice, they are unconsciously creating a habit in themselves to execute life half-heartily. These little choices that occur innumerable times in a day form a person’s character, and how they will react in the future.
The decisions a person makes today directly influence their tomorrow. The character I form today will not drastically change and loose its imperfections on the marrow. The choices of today form the character that lives in the tomorrow, and that character will influence how people react to me, how people will judge me, and whether people will take me seriously or not, whether I will be given ample opportunities in life or not. My character is my future. My character, my future, my tomorrow formed by this one chance, this one shot, this one today, this one opportunity to have a good tomorrow, to have a tomorrow worth living for. Today is to be cherished, it is the greatest gift, it is the only today, it is the one today in a thousand todays that lead to my one tomorrow.
Now you can see why I think she is the bomb. Simply... she is.
For those of you who may be reading this and would like to plagiarize it for your college entrance essay, do not try it. I have copyrighted it on the Web and if you try and pass this tremendous work on as your own, you will be found out. Not only will you be found out, you will not get into Harvard-or Community College, which ever your SAT scores are allowing you. Not only will you not get into your college of choice, but your name and address with be forwarded to me, June Cleaver, and I will then hunt you down.
Jessica is an original. There is none like her (except for her siblings and cousins of course). She cannot be copied. She cannot be duplicated.
You can strive to be like her, and in the process make yourself better. But in my eyes, you can never be a Jessica. She is a super star!

4 comments:

Lindsay said...

Wow, that's come introspection to be coming out of a mind so young. No wonder you're proud!

Lori said...

I won't plagiarize it, but I will distribute it to every teen I know. My oldest son will be a junior next year, and we are Catholic...can you make the introduction for us? LOL

Seriously, though, I pray for my sons to marry girls with character, such as your niece demonstrates. Amazing.

The Farmer's Wife said...

Very well done!

Anonymous said...

Cris,
I was a judge for the Chamber essay contest this spring. Jessica's essay was far better than any in our contest.
Well done, Jessica! That is an awesome essay! My hat is off to you!
Love,
Aunt Barbara