50 thoughts on “Gratitude

  1. Before I met my girlfriend Sarah, I struggled with feeling the physical and sexual abuse I endured as a child destroyed me, robbing me of the chance to be anything other than used. For a while I didn’t know what it meant to be worth love, so I closed myself off from everyone around me, becoming emotionally distant and detached. Sarah, though, was different. She saw in me countless wonderful traits I seemed to posses, despite the many walls I put up. With her I felt safe, loved, and cared for. From that, I was able to start reflecting on my past to move on with my future, allowing me to realize the values and ideals that held the most truth to me. More than anything, I believe in acceptance. I believe that within everyone is the capacity for acceptance of both things they cannot control and past mistakes on the part of themselves and others. There are people in my life who I will never forgive, but I have allowed myself to move on from the pain and learn to accept what happened, regardless of forgiveness. This past year I struggled the most in facing my past, but from it came acceptance and a greater understanding of myself and my capabilities. I released the anger and distress it has caused me for so many years, stronger now and more capable. With acceptance I am finally free.

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    • I am very glad you let go of all this negativity in your life.Your past was something you couldn’t control.I’m also really glad that Sarah was put in your life to make you realize what great of a person you are.Stay strong and live life to the fullest!

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    • I’ve never been in that predicament before but , what I can tell you is that forgiveness means a lot and it is not easy to forgive especially if someone has caused great pain in your life but, you must learn to forgive not only for the relationship you have with a person but, you forgive for yourself in spite of being at peace with yourself.

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  2. In my life I have many things to be grateful for, some of those things include my parents and friends that motivate me, a great education and many more. But the single thing I am most grateful for is my brother. My brothers name is Cody and he is 10 months and two days younger than me, yes, we are irish twins. Although growing up with a brother means fights and things being screamed or thrown across the house, having a brother so close in age to you creates an unbreakable bond. As we grew up we created unforgettable memories. One of which is actually on video. One day Cody and I were playing with one of those fake grocery carriages and because I am months older than him, I was alittle bigger than him. Well, I decided I was going to push the carriage into him and he fell over. He started to cry a little bit and being the good sister I am, I tried to help him up. After a few seconds tugging on his arm to get up I gave up and walked away. I don’t think I will ever know why I love that memory but it’s one of my favorites because it definitely relates to us today.
    There is never a day that he doesn’t make me laugh. There is no one on this planet who can make me laugh as much as him. We have days with hours of laughing and moments of non-stop fighting. We have had our fair share of fights but at the end of the day he is the one person I will always go to. Being so close in age makes the “But I’m older” line go right out the window. Cody tends to forget that I’m the one who is supposed to look after him, and he doesn’t care. He is extremely protective over me. He even has his friends look after me to make sure nothing bad is happening to me, which can be extremely annoying when he texts me saying he knows I’m pumping gas… That’s a bit much.
    Having a brother and being an older sister creates a sense of protectiveness. I worry about my brother more than my mom does sometimes. Although he has his own goals and we are completely different I still feel like I need to set a goal, which I usually always have. Cody is more of the hands on, working type of guy. I am more of a sit back and relax and do some homework type of girl. We compliment each other, so usually fights happen because of a matter of opinion not facts. I don’t think I would be as motivated as I am without my brother pushing me to do more.
    I think I have became a better, well-rounded person having a brother like him. Nobody can push your buttons more than a little brother, that’s for sure. I grew up with a best friend my entire life. I don’t know a day without my brother. The laughs, the fights, the jokes and the memories all get better as the days go on. I’m lucky to be able to say there will never be a day that I feel alone, because I know he will always be right there to cheer me up. Whether it’s by making a joke or throwing something at me so I turn around and smile, he never fails to make my day.
    One day my mom hear us laughing upstairs, which happens pretty often. We had a bean bag and we were trying to pass it to each other, even with music playing all you could hear was us laughing because we failed every time. We eventually gave up and we both sat down and began passing it to each other talking about whatever came to mind.
    As we are growing up we are starting to do our own thing and some days our only conversation is when we pass by each other in the kitchen, but our bond will never be broken. I am convinced I was given more than a brother, I was given a best friend for life, and even though I take it for granted sometimes I could never ask for anyone better to go grow up with. And sometimes even though I wish I could “send him back”, I don’t know where I would be without him and I’m so happy that I’ll never have to figure that out. Im grateful for my brother because no matter what I will always have a shoulder to cry on, a joke to laugh at, and more importantly a best friend I can depend on more than anyone else.

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    • You tell a moving story between you and your brother. By the way you describe, he certainly seems like an excellent companion. Make sure not to lose him as you each go your own ways.

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  3. Much like you would with a person, I fell in love with equestrianism the second I felt the horse’s gate beneath me, and ever since, it has become my most prominent trait. “Horse girl” has been used as an identification for me so many times I have started thinking it suits me better than my actual name (besides, I have tripped over my own feet far too many times for ‘Grace’ to be appropriate), “how’s horseback riding?” is the first thing my extended family asks me when we see each other, and it is the subject of every post on my Mother’s Facebook. I am not ashamed to admit that I often take things for granted; having food and shelter, having money and people who care so much about me, but my introduction to riding was the most humbling experience I have ever endured, in more ways than one. Whether it be being slammed into the ground at 30 MPH by that 1500 pound animal just as I was getting too confident in my abilities or saying goodbye to my best four-legged friend as the vet pushes the euthanasia solution into his vein, this sport always finds a way to show me that every aspect of life, no matter how insignificant, is precious. My practice is my masterpiece and it leaks like ink into all parts of my existence. I can hear my trainer’s voice coaching me when I build my argument for my History essay and I can feel a resistant tug of the reins in my hands when I try to convince my parents to let me go out after 11 p.m. Horseback riding is my primary motivator and it taught me how it feels to have something to live for and how to devote my efforts towards something that does not exclusively benefit myself, but most importantly, it taught me the meaning of gratitude.
    I believe that when one finds their passion, it consumes their body and everything around it so their life becomes a product of what they love. Mine is found in every part of me and has shaped me into the person I am today. As such, I believe that when someone finds their place in this world, they discover what it means to feel grateful.

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  4. I started on the wrong foot in the beginning of 2013. I was separated from my mom, little brothers and sister. Getting separated from my family may be one of the worst experiences I’ve been through. I felt alone, lost . Though everyone told me everything is going to go back to how it used to be, they were wrong. I felt like nothing was going to get better. I kept moving all over Massachusetts; different homes, and different schools. It wasn’t easy nor pleasant. Moments like this could and probably will make you think that anything could happen even when you least expect it; you become a pessimist over time. But, life is not always full of disappointments. Sometimes you have to find the good within it, and value every moment of it. Even though I wasn’t having the time of my life, I have met some crazy–yet funny- people that I now call my friends. They have helped me throughout my worst days. I can actually call this a success because we all know that having friends you can connect to is a great thing to have in your life. The right type of friends keep you from trouble. They’re the only people you could trust and you could tell them anything knowing they won’t judge or expose you. This success has changed my way of feeling sad and alone; I’ve become optimistic. I used to think that friends only brought stress and insecurities because of the fact that there may be people who aren’t the best company. Meeting the right people totally changed my views on socializing. These people I call my friends are really special to me. I am grateful.

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    • In December of 2013, I was traveling to Boston to see one of my very best friends at her band’s album release party. She had worked tremendously hard to get to that moment- years of writing music and lyrics- and I was so excited to see her perform. Once I arrived at the venue and started looking for parking, my car was completely demolished by a commuter rail train in a freak accident. Luckily I escaped the car moments before the train hit. It was something straight out of a movie, but it was my real life in that moment.

      I felt I had lost everything. My cellphone and other belongings were missing, and now the car that I had just paid off was a crumpled pile of metal. Strangers came to help me from the surrounding area- someone even brought me into her home, gave me tea, and let me use her laptop to connect with loved ones. I had always been reluctant to accept any type of help or assistance, but it was through this experience that I started to learn a new skill.

      Friends rallied around me and built me up- let me use their cars, took me grocery shopping, helped me look for another car. It was through this experience that I learned I needed to be okay with accepting help. I believe the only way that I was able to heal and move forward was by leaning on people and letting myself accept help when it was offered.

      I am so appreciative of the love and support I had through one of the scariest moments of my life. I encourage you, reader, to open up, be a little vulnerable, and see how the universe responds.

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  5. Have you ever felt abandoned? No one ever wants to feel that way. Have you ever felt grateful? I’m going to tell you my life story. I have been hesitant to tell other people this but, at the age of 9 months, I was adopted by my current parents. My birth parents were not able to financially support a child. They struggled, and left me at the side of a bridge. Someone saw me and gave me an opportunity. They saw that I was of value and deserved a chance. Sometimes I wonder what my life would be if none of this happened. They brought me into an adoption center and nurtured me until I was 9 months. My current parents, my adoptive parents, took me in and I have been living with them for as long as I can remember. I have a brother who is also adopted. I have been forever grateful for everything that has happened to me. I have had a good life because I was adopted and made the best of everything. I have parents who work hard to provide me with a good education, and the ability to enjoy different activities. I have made decisions in life that while they may not have been the greatest, I had learned so much from them and continue to still learn from them. It was once said that you need to make the best of every situation and be grateful for everything you receive and experience. You never know when something could be gone and regret taking it for granted.

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  6. Growing up, it did not take much for me to learn how to be grateful. I learned this from my grandfather’s extraordinary story. And because my family was so close to him, I was reminded of it very often whenever I was with him. My grandfather was a scientist in New York. When he was 38, he contracted a deadly virus from his laboratory. Weeks after he was infected, he began to show flu-like symptoms. After they wouldn’t cease, my grandmother decided to take him to the hospital, where he went into a coma. After long hours of research, the doctors in the hospital came to the conclusion that my grandfather had rabies. They did not expect him to survive, and were expecting him to pass at any moment. My grandmother had to tell her three young children that their father was going to die. But, my grandfather remained in his coma, as he was being treated with a very new treatment for rabies. About a year later, he awoke from the coma. Eventually, he returned home with a large brain injury. He was still able to perform daily activities. I am so proud to be the one that made him a grandfather. I have lived my entire life so far being extremely grateful that I was able to know him after what happened. His story has taught me to appreciate what I have. He was and still is my hero. My gratefulness for his 72 years of life will carry on with me for a lifetime.

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  7. Gratitude is something that I believe enhances a person’s character and endears them to others. Gratitude isn’t always just saying “thank you” when receiving something. It is also the act of showing thankfulness through actions and respect. My parents have been great to me, they’ve brought me on countless vacations and now they are spending tons of money to send me to college. I try to show my gratitude for what they have done for me by complying with their requests around the house and staying away from things that might add stress to their already stressful lives. I think that small things like chores and compliance can mean a lot to people, especially the people who have spent countless hours and dollars on you alone. I think that basic respect is a form of gratitude for what people do for you. Being respectful towards your teachers shows gratitude, ensuring that they feel appreciated by you. Basic gratitude goes a long way to further relationships with friends, family and significant others. It is a basis for relationships in a similar way to respect; a person who feels appreciated by you will in turn enjoy your company. The ability to show gratitude is important for every aspect of our lives, whether it be for work, social affairs or familial affairs, gratitude is a great way to appreciate people. I believe that by showing gratitude and respect in small ways to the people around us, we can make the world a more appreciative and happy place.

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    • Loved your essay Kyle. After reading this, it helped me put my own life into perspective and realize that I should take the small requests into consideration.

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    • I completely agree that the small acts you do to show gratitude are meaningful to the ones that give to you. I also try to help out my parents by helping around the house or watching my siblings and I can see that they appreciate the small gestures I do to give back to them.

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    • I like how you emphasized that the little things one can do for another can sometimes be the best way for you to show someone how thankful you are of them. I also believe that pride can sometimes get the best of us, not allowing us to admit that they played a roll making something better than it originally was.

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  8. By breaking down the shoe’s features you have: a outer sole, a midsole, a toe box, a tongue, laces, and an inner sole. The outer sole can be translated to how I started off pure and unaware of reality. As time passes by, the midsole is exposed to by the elements causing it to be worn out. A part of my life that can resemble a midsole would be how as I grew up I would be exposed to the world around me, thus transforming me into the young man I am today. The tongue on a shoe is pretty important because it is one of the main ways of keeping the foot in place. The tongue of a shoe in my life would be my faith. I am a pretty strong catholic and I was raised by the word of God. God has kept me in check up to this point in my life and I plan on keeping a strong relationship with him. Laces on a shoe can go two ways, they can either be original or they could be customs. Customs meaning unique and an additional eye catcher to the shoes.  My family is my laces and they are be both original and customs. Original in the sense that they are the people I started off with since day one but they are customs too because each and every one of them are unique in their own way. Finally, the inner sole. The inner sole is my heart, what I believe in. By believing everything I just stated, I believe in how all these things kept me in place like how all the features on a shoe keep a foot in place. Everyone wears shoes, and each pair of shoes has a story to them.

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  9. I am a first generation Asian American with immigrant parents. My family and relatives may say I am too americanized. Whereas, my friends may say I am oriental. I like eating rice and noodles, but I also enjoy cheeseburgers and mac n’ cheese. I will watch my Asian TV shows and soap operas, but occasionally I will catch up on ‘Game of Thrones’ or ‘Grey’s Anatomy’. With my poor understanding of pinyin, I often struggle texting my Chinese friends and relatives because I have trouble typing Chinese characters and I am still a terrible with spelling out words in the english alphabet. I am grateful for this multicultural life that my parents gave me because this was not my initial thought.
    My closest cousin is less americanized than I am. She is born in China and has more Chinese culture and influence within her. However, this does not put a barrier between us because I can still understand her without difficulties. At family gatherings, all of my close relatives would tell me stories about their childhood in China. The more conversations we have, the more I envy them. Sometimes, I would picture what my life would be like if my parents never immigrated to the United States. I hate to admit this but the selfish side of me wished that my parents never immigrated.
    Most of the time when kids grow up and turn into teenagers, they become more mature, mindful, and understanding. They also begin to have their own mindset and opinions. Soon enough, I realized I was very childish and inconsiderate of my parents.
    My parents chose to leave everything behind in China which includes valuable gifts such as friends and families. They did this for a better future filled with opportunities. I highly respect my parents. I can’t describe how much I appreciate them for giving me a life with numerous opportunities.
    I hope that in the future, I will be as considerate as my parents. They made a life changing decision that helped benefit the whole family. Gratitude has made me less self-centered. Gratitude has also helped me grow from my childish thoughts and wishes. I am thankful for everything my parents have done for me. I will do what is best for the people I care about and teach them to be thankful for what they have in life and not want more.

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  10. In the spring of this year I was given the wonderful opportunity through my high school to be a part of a service group in which we visited the Dominican Republic. Here we went to both the girl and boy orphanages and helped donate as many goods and time as we possibly could. Before this trip when people would ask me what I was thankful for I would reply with comments such as technology, my house and most importantly family. However shortly after visiting the orphanages in the Dominican Republic my gratitude and perspective on life changed immensely. Everything I took for granted back at home in the United States was everything the little girls and boys cherished in the orphanages in DR. It was the little things especially, for instance , the support system my family provides for me is something I knew i had but something I was not grateful for as much as I should’ve been. The children over there had little to no support system.They were living in most cases with no one but strangers with no type of family or shoulder to lean on. In your everyday life think of everything you use/do that is routine….now imagine no longer having the access to do these things with such easy access. In my daily routine the first thing I do when I wake up is brush my teeth, shower, do my hair then get dressed. For me, these are all things that are normal and expected. However for the little kids I visited all four of these doings are luxury. The kids told me that not everyday are they able to brush their teeth and if they are in most instances it is with dirty water, also I realized that many of the girl’s hair was matted so I asked the camp ‘s councilor why and they responded that they cannot afford things such as hair ties or even hair brushes to properly care for their hair. The kids continued to tell me that not everyday they have the opportunity to shower and that all the clothes are “community clothes” meaning that everyone shares the clothes both girls and boys. This trip mad me realize all the little things I take for granted everyday and how much more I need to be grateful for not only my life and living conditions but also all the opportunities I am given.

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  11. Let me start off by saying, Thank You Mom. If you weren’t in my life I honestly don’t know how I would survive and most importantly be the person I am today. Don’t get me wrong I am thankful for a lot of people, but no one is on my mother’s level. I have a whole lot of respect for her and I love her so much.I might come off as unappreciative at times and she always calls me out for it, but honestly I really do appreciate anything and everything that my mother does for me. There is another thing I need to work on. I need to start showing her that I am very appreciative of her. She is my biggest supporter and motivator, she is always there for me and will always be by my side. A couple years ago I had got into an accident and my mom was the one who helped me with everything. Obviously she was there for me because she is my mother and I am her child, but she stood by my side through everything while everyone else had left. Before my accident, my mother and I were never as close as we are now. It is amazing how incidents happen and it can bring people closer. Now here she is, by my side helping me with college, doing the best that she could do, since I am her first and also her youngest child going to college. That is an accomplishment for the both of us. To repay my mother, all I have to do is succeed in college, and don’t give up. I cannot fail her and I will not fail her.

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  12. Gratitude, this is a trait that most people including myself ignore at times and take for granted. Being grateful for something can occur on many levels, one can be grateful for getting that special job promotion from their boss. Another can be grateful for receiving that brand new iPhone as a gift. But being raised with the values I have been brought up on, I now realize that there is a difference between being grateful for materialistic versus non-materialistic things. Every day we should be grateful for things such as health, family, and opportunities. Those are things that only come once in a lifetime. Growing up, I was always told by my parents to keep those things close to my heart and never forget about them because you never know when you would lose them. I have always been grateful for the things that I have been blessed with such as a close family, my health, and the chances to do things in life that I would never thought exist. Some families are not always as fortunate and along with being grateful it is important to give back to the community and help those in need and less fortunate.
    For many years ever since I was a little kid, I have helped out in soup kitchens, church fund raisers, and numerous community events with my family. It never felt like a chore to me though, it felt completely different. I enjoyed helping people and giving my time to those in need. Part of that feeling while helping those people out was due to how my parents have raised me. Treating others with respect and being gracious for what have I have been given is something I want to spread and share with others around me.

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    • I completely agree that gratitude is something we often overlook. We do not realize what we have until something is taken away from us. Yes, we are often grateful for the materialistic things we have, yet are not grateful enough for the basic needs we are lucky to have. I too have been raised in a gracious family but constantly have to remind myself of what is truly important.

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  13. Everyone says they have the best parents in the world. Mine love me unconditionally and support me 100% in everything I do. I’ve never felt uncomfortable around them because of being adopted. As a child, I never realized being adopted wasn’t normal. My first memory of realizing “I was different” was in first grade. My friend and I were playing tic-tac-toe, and a boy came over to watch us play. When we finished our game, he said “I want to play next against Ms. Chinese (me)”. I was 6, and that was the first time anyone has ever publicly mentioned me being Asian. I pretend I didn’t hear it and just kept playing. A few minutes later he said it again. I was too embarrassed to say something about it, but my friend stood up for me by telling the teacher. I did not think it was a big deal, but then we got called to the principal’s office. The principal gave us a speech about how words can hurt. At first, I did not see his comment to be meaningfully hurtful since he was my friend, but then I realized that it could mean something completely different.
    My parents tell me stories about how poverty stricken my birthplace. These stories remind me never to take anything for granted. If I was never adopted, my life would be completely different. My parents gave me a second chance at life and I can never thank them enough.

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  14. I am a firm believer in giving back to one’s community. My home will always be 7 Bloomfield St, Dorchester MA. That is the home that I will come back to. This is the home that matters. Tupac once said, “My mama always used to tell me: ‘If you can’t find somethin’ to live for, you best find somethin’ to die for.'” I’ve found that thing I’d die for. I will serve as a voice for those that can’t speak up. The best way to bring about change is to inform yourself, and then inform others. Attending a predominantly white Jesuit Catholic high school, I nearly lost sight of this. I nearly lost sight of who I was to begin with—a young brother from the hood just trying to make with the support of his family and an education. But never again will I leave Dorchester behind. I will never leave myself at the door of any building, because I will be doing myself a disservice. My upbringing is what has made me who I am today. As much I would have hoped that I didn’t have to see friends and family getting killed or sent away to jail, I know that it changed me for the better. Lord knows there were plenty of opportunities for me to take a turn for the worst—but I saw what the life would’ve ended like. I am eternally grateful to my community in Dorchester, which is why I’ve decided to become an educator. I’ve always been told that I should try being a doctor, a lawyer, or a businessman. While these are respectfully professions, these are the only careers that supposedly make a black man from the hood “successful”. However, there is a fine line between doing what others claim is “successful” and what is personally joyous. We are forced to believe that there is no other way out. If success means money, then yes, those careers are “successful.” However, to paraphrase the great Tupac Shakur once again, if we are to spark change—why not spark the young mind that will be that change. Teachers played a significant role in my development not only as a student, but as a young man as well. They have taught me perseverance, dedication, motivation, and most importantly, to believe in myself. For that, I am forever grateful. This is how I will pave the way for the black youth of my community to aspire to be greater things beyond the streets of Dorchester. Being an educator would allow me to lead by example, and positively influence children who look like me and come from the same background.

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  15. What are you grateful for?
    I grew up in Africa in a country called Nigeria, my family didn’t have half the luxury an average American family had. My mother had to raise 4 children all by herself, her husband half way across the world pursuing the “American dream”. There were times my mother wouldn’t eat so we could, and when we would ask “mother why aren’t you eating” she would reply “I already ate” and she would smile saying it, but we all knew she hasn’t had nothing to eat. One day I was walking down the road and there was this little girl who was homeless and she had no food and when she saw me she ran up to me and hugged my leg so tightly and she kept begging for food and money, I tried everything to get her off me but she wouldn’t bulge so I stopped for a minute and looked around and I realized how many people had gathered around me and how much hate thrown towards this little girl whose only crime was having too little in life and it broke my heart to see her that way and see people treat her that way. I would often get angry at God because my family had been through a lot but at that moment I realized I wasn’t grateful enough, people had it worse than me like that little girl. I would complain and yell and get angry but I failed to be grateful for the gift of life and my family. My point is be happy and thankful for everything no matter how small it may seem, not everyone is as privileged as you and there people out there who would do anything do be in your shoes be grateful for everything u have and try to help others because
    our prime purpose in life is to help others
    and if you can’t help them,
    at least don’t hurt them.
    ~ Dalai Lama

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  16. Gratitude is a quality that I believe not everyone is born with. It takes some hard times and loss to really see what you have in life. On april 13th of 2016, one of my best friends lost her mother due to cancer.This day is one that showed me how grateful I am to have the friends I do. Throughout high school, I was lucky enough to have shared hundreds of memories with a small group of eighteen girls, who I call my bestfriends. Since freshman year, I have formed relationships with this particular group of girls that have taught me more life lessons that I can put into words.During those rough four years of school, we matured together and were there for each other during hard times. It is in times like losing a loved one, you are really able to see at what extent friends will go for you to be there for you, and my friends rocked at it. Although we are all going off to college this fall, I will never forget the moments we shared. Looking back, I realize that not everyone was as lucky as I was. I truly would not be where I am today nor the person I am without them. I will carry these life lessons to college, and continue to use them throughout my life each and everyday. I believe that the people you surround yourself with can truly make a difference in your life. If they made a positive one, you should step back and be nothing but grateful.

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  17. In today’s society, many people tend to take what they love most for granted until it is lost. I was once one of those people, until one day tragedy struck, and life as I knew it changed before my eyes. My father was a hardworking man and was always there for me and my siblings when we needed him most, however, alcohol and depression eventually took their tolls. After my father’s suicide, I realized just what I had in life, and how I would never get to experience things as a “normal” kid anymore. I luckily never lost some of the basic needs as a human such as food, water, and shelter, but I lost the thing I took most for granted, my dad. Ever since that horrific day, I have always been gracious of what I have and am thankful for my family each and every day. Gratitude wasn’t the only thing I learned from that disastrous event, I also learned every day should be lived to its fullest because you never know when everything will change in an instant. Many children my age assume that life never ends, but I learned firsthand that this isn’t the case. I made a promise to myself that i would try to give my family as much as I could, and take them to as many places across the world as I can. After all, life is a fragile thing, therefore everybody should live it to the fullest, and make as much of a positive impact as they can before their time is up.

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  18. I am extremely grateful for my parents because they give me their love and support in every thing I do. My parents, especially my mom, are a massive reason why I’ve taken harder courses in school. I’ve struggled in math my whole life and every year my mom pushed me to take the harder math courses knowing that I’d struggle but I’d learn the most from them. This past year I took Pre-Calculus and after the first two weeks of school, having taken two tests and receiving bad grades on both of them I was ready to quit and switch into an easier math class. So my mom made a deal with me that if I went to see my teacher for extra help for one week and I still got a bad grade on my next test she’d let me switch into Statistics. I should have known better than to doubt my mom, because after only a week of extra help I did much better on my next test which helped me realize that I could take on this course and actually learn from it. I received B’s most terms but I was proud of myself for sticking with this course, and for trying my hardest. My mom pushed me to stay in this class because she believed that I could do it and this experience would help me grow which transferred to me believing that I could do this and grow as a student.

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  19. Most people spend more time and energy thinking about themselves more than anyone or anything else. Spending most of our time thinking selfishly does not mean we are bad people; it is part of what makes us human. However, I believe we should strive to reach more humble mindsets.
    A few years ago, I had the realization that the world does not revolve around me. My family had taken me on a trip to New York City for my birthday. I had never been before, and I should have been grateful. Upon turning 16, however, I grew cocky. I complained for much of the trip, which created a very uneasy environment within my family. I wanted everything to go my way, yet nothing satisfied me. That was, until I saw a homeless man holding a sign that said, “It’s my birthday, I am very hungry and cold.” In that moment I realized I am not the center of the universe, even if it happened to be my 16th birthday. I was only one person in such a big city, and I was in a much better situation than most people.
    The most important lesson I learned that day is that gratitude and humility go hand in hand. I believe that one cannot be truly grateful for what they have until they realize they are only a minuscule piece to a much larger puzzle. I give my best effort every day to think about other people’s places in the world before my own. It helps me recognize the privileges that I have while also forcing me to step outside of myself and try to help others in any way that I can.

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    • You really hit the nail on the head with that one. We’re all just specs of sand in the greater idea of the universe and being able to humble oneself is key to learning that everything isn’t just about me or you. I’m glad to see someone else thinks like I do.

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  20. I am grateful for many things and people in my life. I am grateful for having both of my parents. Even though they are separated and at times I feel like I am stuck in the middle, I am still grateful for their healthiness and the love they give to me. I am grateful for the two roofs over my head they provide me with. They might make a fuss over the fact that we live in apartments and that they wish they can afford houses with a pool or a driveway. Yet I’m just grateful for the beds in my apartment bedrooms. I am grateful for my brother. I have never said that to him or to anyone before, but I get most of my quirks from him. Him being the older sibling, he used to be the tormentor and would annoy the crap out of me. He still does. But if he hadn’t done that, I probably wouldn’t be able to stand up for myself like I do today. I am grateful for the nephew he has brought into this world to me. I never thought I could love someone so much as I do with my nephew. I am so grateful for my friends. They don’t know how much they really mean to me. I am grateful for all the times they have my back. I am also grateful for the times they tell me I’m wrong when I’m being an idiot and don’t see it myself. It takes a lot for someone to tell someone they care for that they are in the wrong. And I appreciate them for those honest qualities. Honestly I could go on and on about the people and things I am grateful for in this post. Yet I have never really told all of those people how much I appreciate them. I hope to get better at showing my gratitude directly rather than indirectly through chances like this. So, I think I’m going to go work on that.

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    • I love this, I can relate to this very easily, I am forever grateful for my family and supporters and often times it’s hard to just take a minute and let them know how much you appreciate them, very well written.

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    • I can agree with this. I can work on telling the people I care about that I am grateful to have them in my life. Great topic and well written.

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  21. Growing up, I was around a lot of adults who were constantly in conversation. I knew, even then, that if I wanted to speak, I had to wait my turn and not just interrupt someone else. Yet all I see now is selfishness. People wanting what they don’t need; turning down what is given to them, and seeking immediate gratification. I couldn’t tell you how annoying it is to see people waste food at the mess hall. More times than not, someone else paid for it, but now they’re not eating it because “it tastes bad” or “they don’t like it”. If my parents made me something to eat, I would eat every scrap of it, and if I said I didn’t like it, I’d go without dinner. I ate what was given to me. I accepted what was given me. The ancient rule of “You get what you get and you don’t get upset” seems to be forgotten in the coming generation. The things life gives us are the things we have. They’re the cards we’re dealt and we have to learn to play the game, not just complain and want a different hand. I believe that everyone needs to tighten their belt and carry on with their lives and not stop to complain to everyone they know as soon as something doesn’t go their way. Life’s not always sunshine and cupcakes, and the ideal of making the world a better place has been corrupted by the conflicts of today. If you want to make the world a better place, do as I do and simply volunteer to help. Don’t ask or expect for something in return for your actions, and do unto others as you would like done to you. Be grateful for what you do have, and not envy for something else.

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  22. I figured I had a tough life since I lived in a part of the city where people called it “the hood”. Somewhere many people wouldn’t want to visit because they found it very dangerous and believed that many atrocious events would occur. You would believe I had a tough life because it was hard to go outside knowing a kid was shot almost every other week. A part of the city where crimes were high, and drugs were seen everywhere. Still none of this was compared to the experience that I witnessed and lived two summers ago. This was the summer where I was sent off to Cambodia to help build a School, shelter and cafeteria. During my time there I slept with the village people in an island one hour away from the capital of Cambodia. Imagine waking up every morning drenched in your own sweat, getting off of bamboo with an aching back because their was no bed for you to sleep on like the one back home. There I worked with the village people everyday to finish three projects that were stated earlier so that the children that lived on the island could live a much more beneficial life. I struggled on that island, with nothing to eat but rice for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and even dessert. Thats all that the people on that island had to offer. There’s more to this story but I just want to compare this event to my life for a brief moment. The life that I lived back home was nothing compared to what other kids in Cambodia face everyday. From the bad home conditions, to the daily prostitution of children. For this I’m for this thankful for the life that was given to me.

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  23. In my junior year of high school, my guidance counselor called me down to her office and sat me down and told me she was nominating me for a prestigious college scholarship. At the time I was extremely grateful, but had yet to recognize the magnitude of the scholarship, at this time I did not know that it was going to give me the attention of my family, my school, and the state of Massachusetts as a whole. She was nominating me for the Christian A. Herter Memorial Scholarship, which can grant me up to $20,000 a year towards my college education. Every year only 25 out of the 400 applicants will receive this scholarship. It allows for the underprivileged, intelligent, young people of Massachusetts in grades 10 and 11 to have a shot at furthering their education. The process was long, but completely worth it. It started with an application, I had to send my family’s financial statements, my academic successes and write an essay on how I overcame hardships to pursue and succeed in school. Out of the 346 applicants, I happened to be one of the 78 students picked for an interview. From those interviews, 25 students would receive the scholarship. The day I was told I received the scholarship was when I felt the transition from childhood to adulthood. I had finally felt as though all the hard work and dedication I put into going through school, and spending countless hours after school, determined to reach my goal of succeeding in life, had actually paid off. I was going to go to college, and I was going to graduate college, something no one in my family had ever accomplished before. Receiving this scholarship put me on cloud 9, this was an accomplishment I had gotten myself, yes, my family and teachers had pushed me through school and are a big part of my success, but my work that I put in all by myself was finally given back to me with a reward. The news of my scholarship weeded its way through the community and my school. My principal recognized me at the awards banquet at the end of my junior year, my mother’s friends and family all throughout my small town took time out of their day to congratulate me on my success. The scholarship was awarded through Massachusetts Secondary Education, every recipient of the scholarship in 2016 had a banquet at the state house, where we all got to be recognized for our accomplishment. That day I realized I was not a child anymore, I was not going to have my mother be there for me everyday of college and encourage me to get through the day, or the semester, or the year. It allowed me to recognize that I was an adult because I got this scholarship for myself, by myself, and I was allowed to be proud of that.

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  24. You are responsible for all the successes that you achieve in life, so go ahead and give yourself a pat on the back, you deserve it. That being said however, it’s easy to forget that you could not have done in on your own, and that’s okay; humans are made to be able to be scratch and bruised so it’s only normal that we must face setbacks and rely on those around us to help us get where we want to be. This can be hard seeing as most humans possess the unfortunate trait of pride, but when checked at the door they are able to accomplish more they ever could on their own. I have many people to thank for getting me to where I am today and the number only grows as I do. My parents, who are bosnian refugee, who lived through a war, losing so many loves ons, moved their entire life to the states in order to be able to offer me with the best opportunities available. My highschool coach of all four years helped me grow, teaching me lessons that not only applied to the track but to everyday life. To my friends for always being by my side and for the life long memories we share together. To the strangers who have showed me random acts of kindness. I could name the many many more individuals who played a massive role my my growth but you’d be reading all day. All that’s left to say is, thank you to all those, I am truly grateful.

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  25. August, 18, 2017, My family and I missed the plane, a plane that would eventually change our life forever. The plane destination was Boston, Mass from Lima, Peru. For me that day felt like having the best opportunity someone could ever have and then losing it. There was no one to blame, it was done already. The only thing we had to do was not stopping and keep moving forward instead. Eventually it had to work again like it did before. I am grateful for all the sacrifice that my family did for me and my siblings to get us here, The USA, the land of opportunities. They work hard, so hard, I barely saw them during the day, they did anything they had to do for us to get where my siblings and I, are right now. They sacrifice too much that I feel the word gratitude is too less of a word to describe what I feel. Mom and Dad, the people who gave me life, and also the ones who change it, the ones that were, are and still behind my back, the ones that did not see any obstacles, the ones that did not care about how much sacrifice they had to do for us, the ones who did not give up, the ones who were not afraid to fail, the ones that I will always love, the ones who gave it all for me, all for me and sister and bother, and those are ones that feel grateful for, and those are the ones I’m here writing this blog post. Mom and Dad I’m grateful to have.

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  26. This summer, about two weeks ago I went to Peru. I went to visit my family. I had a great time reconnecting with my family that I have not seen for about 4 years. Peru was great but it was not all fun. One night my sister, my cousin and I wanted to go to a club. It was a friday night. Here in Peru not everyone has the money to have their own cars, so they take taxis and buses everywhere. So we had to take a taxi. Finally we waved down a taxi and this young driver gave us a cheap price to the club, so we obviously agreed, and hopped in. The ride was going smooth until the taxis car started to “break down”. The taxi drivers car was apparently stalling and was about to break down, so he pulled into a kind of hidden street where it seemed very suspicious. Here, my cousin and I put our guards up. When the taxi driver was driving in the street, he was passing very slowly by the street, almost at snail speed. Then out of nowhere a guy just hops into the front seat. The guy that hopped in the car was the taxi drivers buddy and the friend threatened us with a gun saying that if we do not give him money, phones and wallets to them right at that moment he was shooting us in the head. We were terrified. My cousin gave the two guys his phone. My cousin was then pulling out his wallet to give him money as well. While my cousin was taking his wallet out I managed to sneak my phone in the front side of my pants under my boxers so if they patted me down they would not find my phone. I took my wallet and tossed it by my sisters feet. My sister picked up on what was happening, and she hid the wallet for me. I gave them the money I had in my other pocket. Then the driver then started to pat me down checking my pockets, my waistband but never found anything. They never planned to pat me down in the front. The two guys then told us to get out of the taxi and run to the end of the street and not to look back. So we ran to the end of the street and walked home for a good forty minutes. Although we got robbed, I was grateful that we only lost money. The night could have ended much worse. Only money and a phone were lost that night. Materialistic things that can be regained, a life can never be regained after it is lost.

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  27. I believe in gratitude. I was raised by parents who made sure that at a young age I knew that manners were important and if I didn’t, it was disrespectful. Whenever I asked my mom to go over someone’s house for a play date as a kid she would have to talk to my friends mom to make sure it was okay and as I ran off the playground to go to his house she would always yell “Use your manners!!” and I would. Growing up I would always have parents comment on the fact that I’m so polite and be pleased with my manners and praise my parents for raising me so well. I have developed many friendships over the years from showing gratitude and common courtesy to people and some of those friendships are professional and have led to commercial success. Moving into college really opened my eyes to everything my parents have done for me and their hard work for getting me to where i am today. Just looking around in my dorm and seeing everything they bought for me with their hard earned money makes me feel so grateful for them. When I broke it down in my head I learned that my parents are using their money that they earned at their jobs to get me into this school and supply me with whatever I needed to excel in learning and grow. I have only been in school 2 days and lost track of all the times I have said thank you to my parents over the phone for the opportunity they’re giving me. I really believe that everyone should take a minute out of the day to look around and appreciate everything around you and show signs of gratitude for everything they can.

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