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Written by a high school student...
The paradox of our time in history is that we have taller buildings, but shorter tempers; wider freeways, but narrower viewpoints; we spend more, but have less; we buy more, but enjoy it less. We have bigger houses and smaller families; more conveniences, but less time; we have more degrees, but less sense; more knowledge, but less judgment; more experts, but fewer solutions; more medicine, but less wellness. We have multiplied our possessions, but reduced our values. We talk too much, love too seldom, and hate too often. We've learned how to make a living, but not a life; we've added years to life, not life to years. We've been all the way to the moon and back, but have trouble crossing the Street to meet the new neighbor. We've conquered outer space, but not inner space; we've cleaned up the air, but polluted the soul; we've split the atom, but not our prejudice. We have higher incomes, but lower morals; we've become long on quantity, but short onquality. These are the times of tall men, and short character; steep profits, and shallow relationships. These are the times of world peace, but domestic warfare; more leisure, but less fun; more kinds of food, but less nutrition. These are days of two incomes, but more divorce; of fancier houses, But broken homes. It is a time when there is much in the show window and nothing in the stockroom.
A GOOD FRIEND
In kindergarten your idea of a good friend was the person who let you have the red crayon when all that was left was the ugly black one.
In first grade your idea of a good friend was the person who went to the bathroom with you and held your hand as you walked through the scary halls.
In second grade your idea of a good friend was the person who helped you stand up to the class bully.
In third grade your idea of a good friend was the person who shared their lunch with you when you forgot yours on the bus.
In fourth grade your idea of a good friend was the person who was willing to switch square dancing partners in gym so you wouldn't have to be stuck do-si-do-ing with Nasty nora or Smelly simmon.
In fifth grade your idea of a friend was the person who saved a seat on the back of the bus for you.
In sixth grade your idea of a friend was the person who went up to Nicky or Susan, your new crush, and asked them to dance with you, so that if they said no you wouldn't have to be embarrassed.
In seventh grade your idea of a friend was the person who let you copy the social studies homework from the night before that you had.
In eighth grade your idea of a good friend was the person who helped you pack up your stuffed animals and old baseball but didn't laugh at you when you finished and broke out into tears.
In ninth grade your idea of a good friend was the person who would go to a party thrown by a senior so you wouldn't wind up being the only freshman there.
In tenth grade your idea of a good friend was the person who changed their schedule so you would have someone to sit with at lunch.
In eleventh grade your idea of a good friend was the person who gave you rides in their new car, convinced your parents that you shouldn't be grounded, consoled you when you broke up with Nick or Susan, and found you a date to the prom.
In twelfth grade your idea of a good friend was the person who helped you pick out a college/university, assured you that you would get into that college/university, helped you deal with your parents who were having a hard time adjusting to the idea of letting you go...
At graduation your idea of a good friend was the person who was crying on the inside but managed the biggest smile one could give as they congratulated you.
The summer after twelfth grade your idea of a good friend was the person who helped you clean up the bottles from that party, helped you sneak out of the house when you just couldn't deal with your parents, assured you that now that you and Nick or you and Susan were back together, you could make it through anything, helped you pack up for university and just silently hugged you as you looked through blurry eyes at 18 years of memories you were leaving behind, and finally on those last days of childhood, went out of their way to give you reassurance that you would make it in college as well as you had these past 18 years, and most importantly sent you off to college knowing you were loved.
Now, your idea of a good friend is still the person who gives you the better of the two choices, holds your hand when you're scared, helps you fight off those who try to take advantage of you, thinks of you at times when you are not there, reminds you of what you have forgotten, helps you put the past behind you but understands when you need to hold on to it a little longer, stays with you so that you have confidence, goes out of their way to make time for you, helps you clear up your mistakes, helps you deal with pressure from others, smiles for you when they are sad, helps you become a better person, and most importantly loves you.
THE PERFECT HEART
One day a young man was standing in the middle of the town proclaiming that he had the most beautiful heart in the whole valley. A large crowd gathered and they all admired his heart for it was perfect. There was not a mark or a flaw in it. Yes, they all agreed it truly was the most beautiful heart they had ever seen. The young man was very proud and boasted more loudly about his beautiful heart.
Suddenly, an old man appeared at the front of the crowd and said, "Why your heart is not nearly as beautiful as mine." The crowd and the young man looked at the old man's heart. It was beating strongly, but full of scars, it had places where pieces had been removed and other pieces put in, but they didn't fit quite right and there were several jagged edges. In fact, in some places there were deep gouges where whole pieces were missing. The people stared -- how can he say his heart is more beautiful, they thought?
The young man looked at the old man's heart and saw its state and laughed. "You must be joking," he said. "Compare your heart with mine, mine is perfect and yours is a mess of scars and tears." "Yes," said the old man, "yours is perfect looking but I would never trade with you. You see, every scar represents a person to whom I have given my love - I tear out a piece of my heart and give it to them, and often they give me a piece of their heart which fits into the empty place in my heart, but because the pieces aren't exact, I have some rough edges, which I cherish, because they remind me of the love we shared.
Sometimes I have given pieces of my heart away, and the other person hasn't returned a piece of his heart to me. These are the empty gouges -- giving love is taking a chance. Although these gouges are painful, they stay open, reminding me of the love I have for these people too, and I hope someday they may return and fill the space I have waiting. So now do you see what true beauty is?"
The young man stood silently with tears running down his cheeks. He walked up to the old man, reached into his perfect young and beautiful heart, and ripped a piece out. He offered it to the old man with trembling hands. The old man took his offering, placed it in his heart and then took a piece from his old scarred heart and placed it in the wound in the young man's heart. It fit, but not perfectly, as there were some jagged edges. The young man looked at his heart, not perfect anymore but more beautiful than ever, since love from the old man's heart flowed into his. They embraced and walked away side by side.
"Maybe in life we have to meet a few wrong people before meeting the right one
so that when we finally meet the right person, we will know how to be grateful
for that gift.When the door of happiness closes, another opens, but often
times we look so long at the closed door that we don't see the one which has
been opened for us. The best kind of friend is the kind you can sit on a porch
and swing with, never say a word, and then walk away feeling like it was the
best conversation you've ever had. It's true that we don't know what we've
got until we lose it, but it's also true that we don't know what we've been
missing until it arrives. Giving someone all your love is never an assurance
that they'll love you back! Don't expect love in return; just wait for it to
grow in their heart but if it doesn't, be content it grew in yours. It takes
only a minute to get a crush on someone, an hour to like someone, and a day to
love someone, but it takes a lifetime to forget someone. Don't go for looks;
they can deceive. Don't go for wealth; even that fades away. Go for someone
who makes you smile because it takes only a smile to make a dark day seem
bright. Find the one that makes your heart smile. There are moments in life
when you miss someone so much that you just want to pick them from your dreams
and hug them for real!Dream what you want to dream; go where you want to go;
be what you want to be, because you have only one life and one chance to do
all the things you want to do. May you have enough happiness to make you
sweet, enough trials to make you strong, enough sorrow to keep you human,
enough hope to make you happy. Always put yourself in others' shoes. If you
feel that it hurts you, it probably hurts the other person, too. The happiest
of people don't necessarily have the best of everything; they just make the
most of everything that comes along their way. Happiness lies for those who
cry, those who hurt, those who have searched, and those who have tried, for
only they can appreciate the importance of people who have touched their
lives. Love begins with a smile, grows with a kiss and ends with a tear. The
brightest future will always be based on a forgotten past, you can't go on
well in life until you let go of your past failures and heartaches.