Have you ever really thought about the beauty of the nighttime sky? The awe is from the balls of fire that reside much further than man could travel in a lifetime. However, if all we saw was light from these stars we would take every individual one for granted. See the real reason why the sky is so beautiful at night is because of the darkness in between the illuminating specks. The truth revealed about the beauty of night is parallel to the beauty of our life on Earth. A life that is full of bad times and good times.
On Wednesday, June 14, the Governor’s Conference began in Washington, DC. On the first day, 42 teens in some of the highest positions of power in their state programs were sent the the Lincoln Memorial for the service project. The service project was far from glamorous. A sickness in the reflecting pool had led to the death of over 60 birds and caused a horrible smell in the heat. Yet, not a single kid declined going into the drained reflecting pool area and picking up every coin that sits on the concrete. The lesson that the gentleman running the service project was aiming to teach us is that no matter how much power you hold you must never think that any task that can positively impact another person is beneath you. Overall, stay humble.
This humble theme was carried throughout the whole conference. When hearing about the journey of the 41 other kids, you were humbled. When hearing each of them speak, you were humbled. When speakers came to give us advice, we were humbled. When we walked through the monuments and Arlington, we were humbled. When we attended the Congressional Baseball Game and saw the comradery of opposing parties in the aftermath of a tragic shooting, we were humbled. When we met all the alumni that attended the Gala, we were humbled. Thus, that seemed to have been the purpose of the entire 5 days in Washington, DC. What I took away was that nothing good will come from a group of people that believe that they are the center of the universe. Rather, the possibilities are endless when they put aside their pride and accept each others opinions, values, and all that makes them who they are with genuine love.
All 42 participants came from their regular lives to a singular star within a universe. They were given a family in which the members embraced you no matter who you truly are. A family that will be there for you for the rest of your life that came from all around America. However, at one point on Saturday night we all were told to look up while we sat on a grassy area in the middle the capital of our country. What we saw made us feel small but proud to be apart of the priceless gift of being alive.
I found myself crying on the train ride back because I just wanted to stay in that space of such intense light forever. Any place that we all live seems the darkest corner in existence compared to the conference we just left, but at least we got to experience such light. My goal is to create such a blissful time for the participants of my program in Delaware.
Thank you to the YMCA for showing me what true happiness feels like so that I may attempt to spread that feeling to others and to always do so humbly. Also, I am eternally grateful for all the loving people you have brought into my life that will support me for the rest of time.