Tuesday, January 24, 2012

"This Isn't Hard"

This post actually has nothing to do with our adoption or even adoption in general, but I can’t stop thinking about something that happened last night and thought that I would record and share my thoughts. Last night I had the opportunity to spend a small amount of time with the residents of a local homeless shelter. Because of the cold weather, this shelter is extremely full and many of the residents are children. I learned many lessons from these wonderful people, but one encounter has taught me and given me more insights than any other.

As I was helping some residents towards the back of the shelter, a beautiful and well kept teenage girl asked me about the length of the food line. She was busy writing in a notebook and looking at a large text book. I told her that the line was still fairly long and that if she waited ten more minutes it should be shorter. I then said, “you can still keep working on what you are doing….it looks hard.” She smiled at me and then said, “oh, I’m not doing anything hard… it’s just chemistry.”

I couldn’t believe it. I first have to say that to me, chemistry is HARD! With endless help from my father, I barely made it through high school chemistry and about killed myself, and my poor father, in the process. I think that he probably still bears the mental scars of sitting at that kitchen table with me for hours at a time trying to explain how to balance chemical equations. The interesting thing is that I actually enjoyed balancing these equations…I just never did it correctly. So to me, the chemistry that this is young woman was doing is incredibly hard and I told her that. But what I couldn’t tell her was, “are you kidding me? High school is hard enough when you have a home, educated and supportive parents and family, fashionable clothing and a car! You live in a homeless shelter. Your entire life is “hard.” Yet you are going to school and taking difficult classes. You are working on your chemistry homework surrounded by 150 other people. You are polite, gracious and smiling when you are in an unbelievably difficult situation. YOU ARE DOING SOMETHING HARD!!!”

I have such an admiration for this young woman. She truly is my new hero. Her positive attitude and outlook did not allow her to shrink with her trials. In fact, she didn’t even see them as “hard” and I believe that is why she seemed happy. She taught me that we can do hard things and do so with a positive attitude. I hope that when I feel that my trials are “hard,” I will think of this beautiful young woman and I hope that I will be as strong as she is and smile and say to myself, “this isn’t hard.” My hope and prayer is that her strength will carry her not only through high school but also through college and possibly even on to be a famous chemist one day!

1 comment:

  1. Oh how I NEEDED to be reminded today that my trials are no comparison and that I need to suck it up and be grateful for my easy life! Love you!