Monday, March 9, 2009

Against All Odds...

Sitting in a class room of 30 plus people, sometimes you can get side tracked... once you
start looking around you you're able to take in the characteristics and
physical qualities of the people you find yourself learning along side of. The
view may be wonderful and pleasant, and in other class rooms, the people
surrounding you may make it not so pleasant. We are a people who judge our
fellow men way too quickly by just the outward appearance, and long before we
have ever even met them, we start to form a judgment about them that most likely isn't legit
in the end. We tend to let our eyes rest upon those who are the more physically
friendly people... the ones who are outwardly beautiful, who look like they
have it all together, and those who are within a good body weight even. By
looking at these outward traits alone, nobody could ever be able to tell
whether or not that person is a legitimately "good" person, whether
they actually know what they're doing or not, or if they have a sincere and passionate
attitude about life. If we walked into a class room and half the room was full
of "beautiful" people and "homely" people, I’m ashamed to
say that we'd all most likely go sit on the "beautiful" side of the
room so as not to feel so awkward or retarded if we had sat on the unpopular
"homely" side. Instead of trying to make friends with everyone
possible, we quickly judge the other side of the room and start to feel sorry
for them... whether they're over weight, they look like they haven't showered
in days, if their clothing is completely out of style, and if they don’t have a
single "attractive" feature about them. Any or all of these reasons
make us feel automatically sorry or embarrassed for them, and we wash our hands
clean of them and don’t even try to introduce ourselves. Our thought here, is
"who wants to associate themselves with a social outcast??”

Our judgments are very shallow indeed... we go on the social belief that
"more thin is better", "faster is better", "smarter is
better", "style is better", and "more money is
better"... so we get caught up in making our quick judgments of the
individuals surrounding us, accordingly, and we don’t give it a second thought
unless we absolutely have to. How is one to tell whether a person is genuine
and kind though? Has a good heart? Would make an excellent
friend/boyfriend/girlfriend? Can make you laugh? Be a good inspiration? Make a
great role model? The thing is... you WOULDN'T know. You won't ever know the
depth of an individual's character unless you talk to them, unless you listen,
and unless you don't make the mistake by forming an awful opinion about them
before you've even gotten the chance to meet them.

Motivation is something I have a tendency to lack from time to time... and it's
only the closest people to me that know this retarded fact about me. If people
were to take me at face value, they would judge me to be a very passionate,
motivated, inspirational chick, or as my recruiter likes to call me, "his
moto dog". Don't get me wrong, I AM a very passionate person, but I don't
always follow through with my crazed passions or "one week notions" when
it comes down to bettering myself. I can get excited about something extremely fast,
but I can also get stressed and annoyed with it even faster and let it slide
under the rug like it was never in my life to begin with. I know now that if
you really ARE passionate or motivated about something, like reaching one of
those amazing goals you've written down on that list, you have GOT to follow
through with it. You can't just let it go, slack off, and give it up when the
going gets rough and it's getting harder to reach what you’re shooting for. Stress...
stress is like the devil to me. If I get too stressed out about the stuff I have
to overcome to get to where I want to go, I’ll let it ruin my plans for a
better future, and I’ll never be a successful individual with high aspirations
for myself. I’ll always let IT beat my ass before I can kick its ass and say,
"to hell with it, I can't do it". But that's just the thing... I CAN
do it. I, we, can do anything we put our minds to... as long as we stick with
it and see it through until the end.

I’ll never forget him... in our society he'd be on the "homely" side
of the room, and nobody would ever know how strong of a character he has, or
that he has an amazing goal for his life just like we all do. Everybody who looks at
him can only see the wheel chair he's in, see the over-sized glasses he wears
on his face, see that his hands don't
look quite like ours, and hear his words as they come out in fumbled,
disarrayed sentences. His name is Michael, and he has cerebral palsy. He's in
one of my classes at college, and I can't believe that he's there, studying
just as hard, if not harder than any other student on the whole campus. The teacher
tells us to introduce ourselves to one another for the last 5 minutes of
class... that last 5 minutes changed my whole outlook and attitude on school,
my goals, and why I’m there in the first place. He's had cerebral palsy since
he was a young kid, stuck in a wheel chair for pretty much his whole life. He
enjoys learning about sociology and can’t wait to learn more. He's right
handed, but because his disease has almost crippled the movement of both of his
hands completely, he's had to teach himself how to write with his left hand. His
family feeds him, dresses him, and is by his side almost 24 hours of the day. Despite
all of these obstacles, he still has a goal... to one day become a child's counselor/therapist.
This is his 2nd year of college, and he's well on his way to succeeding,
against all odds. He won't give up, and that is what separates him from the
"beautiful" side of the room, and what makes him a better individual
than all the rest. We judge success on outward looks and pleasure, but Michael
judges it on how far he's come already, and judges his passion by his attitude
that he'll never give up fighting for his dream to come true. HE is a beautiful
individual... with a good heart, strong motivation, and a happy countenance
that you rarely see in people nowadays.

This is where we have failed as a people... we judge too quickly and so ridiculously
that we aren't able to stop and smell the roses... there's something refreshing
about a human being who isn't a "plastic barbie" or a petty
"G.I. Joe". We never realize that the so called "homely"
side of the room is worth so much more of our time, admiration, and commitment
than the fake "beautiful" side of the room. If I had spent the
last 5 minutes of that class talking to the hottest guy in the room it would
get me nowhere... nowhere at all. Maybe a phone number and some short laughs...
but what would you rather have... a phone number for what's his face? Or the
motivation and new belief that you could do anything and everything you wanted,
without a doubt. The inspiration to keep going even when it gets stressful and
tiresome, and a hope for bigger and better things yet to come...? I’m pretty
darn sure I'd choose the 2nd option, thank you...

I seriously doubt that I would've found this motivation anywhere else... I know
what I have to do, I know how stressful it's going to get out there, and I
know how much work I’ll have to do to succeed... but you don't obtain anything
in life unless you're willing to work for it… and I’m sure as hell bent on
gettin where I’m goin... thanks to Michael... and he probably doesn't even know
how much he’s inspired me to finally follow through with something that has
meaningful value in my life.

Bottom line, don't falsely judge those around you just because their outer
appearance isn't kind to your eyes... you never know who's heart is kinder,
who's ways are stronger, or who's personality is more agreeable unless you talk
to them first hand, and listen to what they've got to say.

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