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There are moments in life which may inspire lifelong changes in our characters. Such moments are rare and invaluable. They provide us with an alternate perspective which is crucial to the development of an enduring and appreciative way of living. The moments may occur at any place and time. They may result from interactions with various people, listening to a life tale or even watching a movie. I have been the subject of such moments. The occurrence changed my view of life and made me appreciate the little things in life. This experience reinforced in me the need to be kind and friendly to different people.
The inspirational moment occurred in 2003. At the time, I was eight years old and a student at Laurel Nokomis School. The learning institution hosted students in the kindergarten level to the 8th grade. I loved my experiences in school since I was able to develop friendships with other students. I was also impressed by my teachers who took their time to educate us on various disciplines. In such a routine, it easy for someone to forget to appreciate the blessings of life. I took such orderliness for granted until I met Stephan, a new student at our school. The meeting marked the beginning of my drive to stand up for what was right regardless of the opposition and challenges that one had to contend with.
On the day I met Stephan, I had been waiting for my grandma to come pick us from school. As was always case, once school broke for the day, I would meet up with my brother, John, at the gate and wait for our grandmother to pick us up. He was also a student at the Laurel Nokomis School. Being four years older than I was, John was a few classes ahead of me. I enjoyed going to school with my brother because I got to spend time with him. Despite his classes being on the other side of the school campus, John would walk me to my class before heading for the senior quarters. The experiences significantly fostered good relations between us.
When we met Stephan, he was still new to the school. Being new to a learning institution can be frustrating since one may not have individuals to call friends. Stephan noticed that I and my brother were waiting to be picked up. He came up to us and he asked John if he would like to play cards. Prior to the experience, I had come across students who were making fun of Stephan for having only one arm. Being that I was young and did not know the cause of his disability, I joined in the laughter. Mainly, it was because I wanted to fit in with my peers. We thought Stephan was abnormal because of his disability.
As I got to know Stephan better, I learned that he lost his arm in a car accident. The knowledge came as a shock because I had previously assumed that the boy was abnormal. I had not considered the fact that he may have been with both hands before losing one hand to an accident. Stephan indicated that he was having a hard time making friends because of his disability. I winced at the words coming out of his mouth since I had initially been part of the group of students who shunned and mocked him.
Overtime, Stephan became our close friend. We shared various experiences in the institution up until we left school. John was the closest to Stephan. The two became best friends. We would defend Stephan whenever he was being bullied for being different. I even took it upon myself to constantly rebuke my friends for laughing at his disability. Notably, the absence of one arm did not render his incapability of accomplishing other goals in his life. Stephan became a second brother to me and up to date, we still stay in touch. As I look back, I realize that the experience with Stephan has been a pivotal aspect of my life.
Stephan gave me the courage to fight for what was right. Subsequently, I am inspired to use my skills, knowledge and efforts in life to make the lives of various individuals in the society better. I have also come to appreciate the need for positivity and endurance in life. Given his experiences in school, Stephan would have easily decided to become a hateful and angry person. However, he used his disability to convey the significance of appreciation for diversity. Like my friend, I have come to respect and interact with people from various walks of life. I am inspired to promote cohesion by engaging positive interactions with my peers. The commitment has played a decisive part in shaping my character today. I intend to continue with such positivity in the future. In essence, I owe Stephan a lifetime’s gratitude for teaching me to appreciate and respect all people.
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