Caroline Haik: Be Thankful

“Be thankful for the bad things that happen in life, For they open your eyes to the good things you weren’t paying attention to before.” Anonymous

Caroline Haik, 12-13, De La Salle Middle School at St. Matthew's, St. Louis, MO

Why is it that we are only thankful for all the good things in our lives? We are thankful when a child is born; we are thankful when we get a new job; we are thankful when we are around our family. It is easy to be thankful for the things we have but what about when things do not go our way? Are we thankful?  Or do we become frustrated and mad?  After a bad or negative event happens, we don’t say, “Thank you God for this horrible experience”, but maybe we should. God will never give us anything we cannot handle and each unique experience, good or bad, shapes us into the person we are today. No matter how bad something may seem, there is always some good in our life. It may be hard to see this while it is happening, but it is there. Choosing to focus on the bad things will only blind us from the good things we already have in our life. Too many times we forget how truly blessed we are despite the small bumps we experience. Those bumps are not meant to break us, but rather to make us stronger and to open our eyes to the good in life.

While thinking about the bumps I have experienced in St. Louis, the one that has affected me the most occurred with in the first two months of moving here. One evening, my community members and I had our purses stolen while we were walking to our car from dinner. This experience caused me to question whether or not St. Louis was the place I should be right now. After a lot of reflection, prayer and support, I realized that St. Louis is exactly where I need to be. Being a Lasallian Volunteer, I firmly believe in its mission to educate the poor and give the youth a chance at a future. Without this program, many youth, in areas like St. Louis, would not receive an education and because of that would not have the opportunities those with an education have. Because of schools like De La Salle, our kids have the chance to BE SOMEBODY and will not have to resort to crime and violence in their life. I am not thankful for this event happening, but I am thankful for the reinforcement and confidence it gave me in my decision to be an LV. I am teaching at De La Salle, so someday my students will not have to rob innocent people, instead they can BE SOMEBODY.

While being thankful for the bad, in addition to the good, may be a difficult concept to grasp, it is something that the LV experience is teaching me day by day. With each new challenge, I am growing and becoming the person I am meant to be.

Caroline Haik, 12-13, De La Salle Middle School at St. Matthew’s, St. Louis, MO

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