Hope : Cupertino High School UN Story Challenge
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The instances where I found myself including people with certain disabilities such as blindness, dyslexia, down syndrome etc. was during middle school. In Lawson Middle School I met my first friend. My loneliness and unfamiliarity with the students of this school, propelled me and persuaded me to talk with her, my first friend. I realized, after a few conversations with her that I had already seen her somewhere. The memories of her came flooding back to me, and as this flood gate opened, the mystery became more and more clear to me. It turned out she was one of my close friends in kindergarten and that after all these years, I have finally reunited with her and we are now friends again. Shruthi, my friend, was a perfectly ‘normal’ girl, with no real problems visible to the naked eye. However, she was in an accident with an elevator damaging her brain cells, making her appear as though she is disabled, however I know in my heart, she was not handicapped, merely handicapable. With this in mind, I took extra measures to help her out throughout the year, helping her better integrate into our school and our lives. I helped engage her in different activities including sports and helped her socialize more making her a more known figure in the middle school community. On a daily basis, my general schedule revolves around guiding her around school. But day by day, I grew to learn and cherish my moments with her more and more. She was so innocent and caring that I started to feel guilty for not appreciating the pleasures I had. Ever since this realization, I began to understand how fortunate I was and started to respect my family and friends a lot more. Just the sight of her motivated me to appreciate what I already have rather than dwell on my desires. I carry out this ideal even till today. But through high school I learned something else; I had to look past people’s indifferences. In high school, people come in all shapes and sizes and adapting to these characteristics was crucial. My entire life I have been so narrow minded, but meeting my friend Shruthi really opened my mind for new a world of possibilities: a new hope.