Whenever I'm feeling down, I try to think back to 8th grade, when I attended the 42nd annual IAJHSC Student Council Convention in Normal, IL. There was the usual, a general session, award presentations, the state service project, etc.—but then there was the keynote speaker, Mr. Kevin Wanzer. He was a motivational speaker who, I think, inspired all of us that day.
I will always remember what he told us:
Everyone is born with a bowl of shining light. This light is leadership and the ability to help and work with others. Throughout our lifetime, we will meet many people, all of whom have different personalities. Some will be positive, and some negative. It's the same with your bowl of light—more light may be added to it, or pebbles may be thrown in.
What this means is that the positive people will influence you and make you a better person through their kindness, understanding nature, and open-mindedness. However, there will always be negative personalities in the crowd. They can be unenthusiastic, judgmental, or just plain discouraging. You might even be able to name a few in your classes at school. So if you're not careful and nonchalant about everything, pebbles will be thrown into your bowl of light.
Sometimes, it's hard to resist following the crowd, especially if all the popular kids fall into the negative category. All you have to do is trust your instincts and don't let it impact your standards and morals. Instead, you must try to help those people to take pebbles out of their bowls of light.
And remember: There is not one person who has cleared himself or herself of all pebbles added to their bowls of light. This gives us reason to always keep at it, and constantly take pebbles out to make our bowl of light brighter and stronger.
[Written: High School]