I had the pleasure of speaking at the Brookhaven Rotary Club yesterday sharing my interest to assist the younger populations with mental well being.
I was very impressed by “the sense of service,” on the part of the members.
I had a chance to talk with Linda Hatten, who is the program manager for the Georgia Rotary Laws of Life Essay Contest.
I was elated to know more about it and the following gives a description and the essay of the past state winner.
I would encourage you to take a moment to read the following…I think you will be glad that you did.
Believing in the power of personal maxims or laws of life that, if lived by, would guide youth to their best lives, Sir John Templeton, noted philanthropist and financial pioneer, created the Laws of Life Essay Contest to encourage young people to embrace the wisdom of the sayings and to honor them for their work.
As a social and emotional learning tool, the contest fulfills the state-mandated character education requirement and is offered free of charge to high schools. The contest encourages students to select a law of life, reflect upon their lives, and express their personal beliefs through writing.
A signature program of the Rotary Clubs of Georgia, the contest takes Rotary’s emphasis on ethics, education, peace, and literacy into schools and classrooms.
The following was written by Sarah Adams from the Atlanta Classical Academy – 10th Grade Georgia State Winner 2021-2022
The Power of Kindness Steve Maraboli once said, “A kind gesture can reach a wound only compassion can heal.” This simple message is a great law of life to live by. It challenges you to show kindness to everyone and shows how impactful it can be on the lives of strangers.
When I went to my first Braves game, I was very reluctant to go. I was not anticipating the impact it would have on my life. I have never been a sports fan, but when the Braves were playing some of their last games before the World Series, I was dragged by my family to go to the game against the LA Dodgers.
The seats were uncomfortable and I was distracted by the fans around me defending their team and yelling at each other. The smell of popcorn and hotdogs filled the air. The strangers in front of me and behind me were loud and obnoxious. I started to wish the game was over already.
A lady sat down next to me and I was annoyed that I had to sit next to a stranger. As the game started, I had little interest in any of it. Every time the Braves would score, however, I would stand up and shout. I would high five the lady next to me and we would celebrate together.
I felt bad that she was alone. My mission was to make her feel like she had a friend. Although she was a nameless person, I felt a connection with her as we anticipated the results of each play.
After the third inning, she asked if I would take a picture of her. She went down to the railing and she held up a Freeman jersey next to her. I was very curious why she took a picture with a jersey, but I took several to ensure she got a good one. She thanked me multiple times. To me, taking that picture took thirty seconds, but it had a lasting effect on her.
I looked over and saw her eyes swell with tears. She showed me a picture on her phone. It was of her and a man wearing the Freeman jersey. “This is my husband. I was recreating this picture, so thank you for taking it.” “Of course!”
I was suddenly aware of how the rest of her story might go. “We used to go to every Braves game together and sit in these exact seats. He would sit where you are sitting right now.” My jaw dropped. I was speechless. “He is dead now, but I know he is watching down on the game and celebrating with me.”
My eyes filled with tears: “I am so sorry for your loss, that is terrible. Thank you for sharing your story with me.” “It’s okay. He’s happy. He’s in heaven now. Thank you for giving me comfort during this game. I’m glad I could share this moment with someone.”
I was shocked, speechless. Her tragic story was so moving and beautiful. I felt sad for her. I started crying. Not knowing what to say, I gave her a hug and we continued cheering. When the Braves won, I was ecstatic. Not because of the actual game, but because this kind stranger next to me got to experience this victory. I could tell how much she wanted them to win.
I left the stadium speechless with tears in my eyes. I did not realize how my simple acts of kindness changed this woman’s memory of the game. She had someone to celebrate with. Although I could not bring back her husband, I could give her a couple hours of peace and happiness despite how much she misses her husband.
Ever since then, I have tried to be kind to every person I meet. You never know what someone is going through, so good deeds can really turn their day around.
This experience has made me appreciate courtesy. Small acts of kindness can go a long way in healing the wounds of people experiencing pain. ~Sarah Adams
Here is a link to discover more about the program https://georgialawsoflife.org/
For our Greater Health,