MAXIMize the Moment Volume 1, Issue 1
Now it's time to MAXIMize the Moment!
Just a month ago. Could it really only have been a few weeks? Still, it seems as if a lifetime has passed since then.
I learned in Social Studies that the AD/BC calendar was designed to start the new age with the birth of Christ and that the Islamic calendar orders time by Muhammed's Hajj. I feel like I shall forever measure my time by Sept. 11th. On that day, my life changed forever. All of our lives did.
Although I do not know anyone who died, many of my friends lost loved ones. And we all lost a bit of ourselves-one of my friends calls that Tuesday was "the end of the innocence for America."
Sometimes I am able to go through almost a whole day without thinking about it. I can get caught up in the day-to-day aspects of life: homework, practice, work, friends, the seemingly endless stream of life's little challenges. Then, suddenly, something will remind me that my life has changed. It might be a segment on the news or a conversation with my cousin in the Marines who could get the call at any time. This strange going back and forth is so jarring. Things are normal, but not. The events of my daily life are altered only slightly, but the world seems entirely changed.
I worry about America. About our safety, our way of life. Will it ever be the same? Should it?
There are times when I feel like my piece of the puzzle is so small that it doesn't even matter. And I wonder if the time and effort I put into school or practice is worth it. I hear things on the news that are so scary: what countries and groups have the potential to use nuclear weapons or chemical warfare and I wonder if it's worth planning for a future that I may never live to see. And I just want to give up.
Then I remember a line from one of my favorite movies, Shawshank Redemption: "Fear can hold you prisoner, hope can set you free."
When I was younger, I thought hope was some warm, fuzzy feeling that I would be a new bike for my birthday. Even last year, I hoped that I would be able to go to Homecoming with a particular person. I feel much older now and my sense of hope is very different. To me, hope is now about going on, even when I don't want to. It's about trusting in the future, even when it seems uncertain and when the present seems unbearable. Hope is about strength: strength of will, strength of character. In order to have hope, I must be strong and that hope makes me stronger still.
Whenever I suddenly find myself being paralyzed by fear or even using my fear as an excuse not to live my life or do my duty, I think of that quote. If I give up on my life and forget my responsibilities, then I am not honoring the memory of those died. I must have hope in the future, a hope that helps me to see that future as valuable, meaningful, and worth working for. I cannot be ruled by fear. Sometimes I start to become overwhelmed by the memory of September 11th and the fear that it might happen again. But, when I am in doubt and I can't figure it out, I remember to MAXIMize the Moment. Then I know that I must live in hope because "Fear can hold you prisoner, hope can set you free."
- "Fear can hold you prisoner, hope can set you free."
Featured character trait
- Hope -- I believe in the goodness of the future.
Character points (for substitution if this week's trait isn't one of your school's core values)
- Optimism -- I have a positive outlook and look for the good in all situations.
- Faith -- I believe and trust in goodness.
- Perseverance -- I continue on, even when the situation is difficult, challenging, or painful.
- Courage -- I live out my obligations and beliefs despite obstacles; I overcome fear because I know something else is more important.
- What or who has been a support for you during this trying time?
- How have you helped others deal with their grief and fear?
- Why is it important to be a hopeful person in general?
- Why is it particularly important to have hope during a trying time of life?
- What helps you have hope during this difficult time?
- What helped you have hope in general?
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