35 thoughts on “Gratitude

  1. Tim Rose

    Your words have an impact on how others view you. As a kid, I was constantly reminded to say please and thank you, even during times when I wasn’t actually grateful. These are manners that every child is taught at one point in their lives. Saying the words can be easy enough, however there exists a deeper meaning beyond the two simple words.

    I grew up in a rather quiet neighborhood. Adjacent to where I lived was a small red house, and in that house lived my elderly neighbor. She was an old and delicate lady who had known me ever since I was a baby. When I was younger, she would always handcraft me personal gifts for my birthday, spending days knitting up unique and special presents. Every year I would thank her for her gift, although it wasn’t usually the gift I was thankful for. The elegant designs were nice, however the time and thought she put in for me was what really mattered.

    I believe words have great power. A simple “thank you” can make a difference in someone’s life. It makes me feel worthwhile when people thank me, and I believe a mutual feeling is shared when I thank others. Whether big or small you will always have an opportunity to say “thank you”. It shows gratitude and respect, and it is humbling when you take time to think about what you’re grateful for. It isn’t a complicated practice, but thanking others goes a long way.

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    1. Lindsey Petrosso

      I really love this essay. I grew up with the same reminders and sometimes didn’t mean them when I said them either. It takes a lot of practice and understanding to say please and thank you. That’s why I love this so much. People who truly and genuinely care about someone deserve heartfelt recognition and appreciation.

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    2. Tim, I love your essay. It is simple and sweet. Not many people say “thank you” or “please” and I don’t know why. I’m glad you chose this topic to write about.

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  2. Stefan Bruendl

    I believe in Potatoes. These vegetables are a well known side dish that can be served in many different ways: Roasted potatoes, potato salad, fries and many more are almost always an available dish at restaurants.
    I too like to eat potatoes which is why I decided to cook some at the time that I was home alone. I put two potatoes into boiling water just like one is supposed to do if they prepare potatoes. I picked two differently sized potatoes believing nothing to be wrong, but as I stabbed both after some time to see if they were mushy enough yet I came to realize my mistake. The small potato could already be sold as a mashed potato while the other one was still as hard as it was before I put it into the pot. I was already mad at myself and those potatoes that just did not want to do as they were told. However, they were not done punishing me yet. I decided to continue preparing my potato dish and started peeling the,. I was getting hungrier by the minute and just wanted to get the cooking over with. I did not pay enough attention and so I peeled off half of the small potato which was now almost as small as a walnut. With the remains of what once were proud potatoes I decided to roast them in a frying pan after cutting them to slices. Because of the condition the big potato was in, cutting it with a normal knife was not as easy as I hoped it would be. I had then spent fifteen minutes preparing two potatoes that gave me about eight slices as a result, six very dense and hard ones and two tiny and very mushy ones. Now there was only one last step in my disastrous procedure of cooking potatoes for the first time, and that was frying them in a pan. I put a little bit of sunflower oil into the frying pan of my choice and threw all eight slices in. A very nice smell diffused in the kitchen. However, smoke came out from underneath my potatoes.They were stuck to the frying pan because I did not use enough sunflower oil to cook them with. I terminated my cooking immediately because I feared that my food might catch on fire. And there it lay; my dinner. Burnt potato slices with different shapes and roughness.
    I am grateful for potatoes not because they are a world famous dish, but because they can teach you many things, not only about cooking but also about potential. Just like every potato has the ability to become roasted potato slices, so does every human have the potential to become what they want to become. Only with the right treatment can humans and potatoes achieve the potential they were chosen for. They have to be cared for and treated correctly, otherwise they will not turn out the best they can.

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    1. acox1umassd

      Hi Stefan, I see you’ve posted your longer essay version here. Would you like to submit it for the essay contest as well? If so, please read the instructions here on the blog and send to our gmail address. Thanks!

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      1. Stefan Bruendl

        I realized I had made a mistake pretty much right after I submitted this. Should I still upload the shortened version here?

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    2. Stefan Bruendl

      (Shortened Version)

      I believe in Potatoes.
      Everyone has had them in a restaurant in some form at some time, but once one tries to cook the vegetables it can result in something different than what was know from a bistro. Potatoes have to be treated with care while cooking and be looked after or else they will result in a failure. There are many steps that can be forgotten or misunderstood when handling Potatoes. It is for example important to peel potatoes after boiling them and not cutting off too much of it or else there will not be enough left to eat. It is also very advantageous to boil them with other Potatoes their size or else they will not have the same smoothness at the end of boiling. Frying the vegetable in a pan can also be quite troubling if the wrong amount of oil is used, resulting in a either burnt or greasy dish. Every single step along the way is important and not to be underestimated. These prerequisites remind me that potatoes are not the only thing that behaves this way. Any living thing, be it animal, human or tree can only turn out the way you want it to if you care enough about it. But only through failing at cooking potatoes myself have I realized that fact. Everything has to be cared for and treated correctly, otherwise they will not turn out the best they can.

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      1. Ashtyn Phaneuf

        I thought this was just a passionate essay about potatoes but you caught me off guard in the end when you dug a little deeper. Loved reading this!

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  3. Catherine Dalton

    I am grateful for Volvo. The protection that a car can give you, even when it’s almost twenty- six years old. The reliability of a car that can get you from home to high school in twenty-two minutes flat. You know because you’ve driven the same roads for almost two years now. But one day that reliability and protection is put to the test, one cold November Monday morning.
    Sitting at the red light, I remember listening to country music. The light turned green and I roll on towards the next set of red lights. But before I braked the light changed to green. I start to accelerate, when a teenager going to high school like myself, pulls out and smashes the front of my Volvo.
    The cars make an ear-splitting sound and then come to an abrupt halt. I can’t breathe. I look up and someone is taking my seatbelt off and making sure that I am fine. I look around to make sure that what just happened was real. I start to feel the pain that the airbag left on my body. Two burn marks with bruises on my arms and stomach. A bruise from the seatbelt on my neck.
    I am grateful that Volvo made their cars to last until they died. Like what happened to me. Twenty-five years this Volvo lasted, it survived two crazy teens driving it. November twenty-third, two thousand and fifteen, Viola made sure that one of those teens survived to live another day.

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  4. Samantha Belanger

    At seven years old I joined my studio’s outreach team. The goal of the team was to bring joy to the community through dance. We performed at venues such as: nursing homes, cruise ships, and museums.
    Being so young can make it hard to understand the importance of giving back. Being a member of the team taught me the smallest things can make someone’s day, which is why I believe in making others happy.
    My favorite venue to perform at was the nursing homes in which we performed every winter. Along with dancing, we made holiday cards to hand out to the residents. These performances were my favorite because of the pure joy we were able to bring to the residents. When they saw the cards, their faces would light up and they would give us all hugs. Watching the residents dance in their seats and sing with the music brought a smile to everyone’s face. I was so happy to be able to bring them so much joy.
    Participating in these performances showed me what is truly important in life. It is not about the trophies we earn. Although they are nice assets, nothing compares to the true joy we brought to those residents. Seeing the smiles on their faces made me realize that it is important to find what makes you happy in life, and making others happy is what brings me the most joy.

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  5. Nate Pacheco

    I believe in maintaining a positive outlook on life. It’s true that things rarely go according to plan. Life has a tendency to throw a few curveballs to catch us off guard. However, the one thing that we have complete control over is our attitude. We all have a light within us that no one and nothing can touch. The energy you set forth into the world is palpable. Negative people who spend their live’s down in the dumps rarely accomplish anything. They’re too busy moping around about how awful they have it. When things go wrong, it’s important to remain level-headed and see the bigger picture. The fact of the matter is, we all have something in our life to feel grateful for. Something we can build upon and work towards to reach a brighter future. I believe with this in mind, anyone can make the most out of any situation. Which, I believe, is what life is all about. The responsibility to make the best hand out of the cards we’ve been dealt. Walt Whitman said, “Keep your face always towards the sunshine – and shadows will fall behind you”. In other words, the harder we focus on our blessings, the smaller we perceive our troubles to be. Positive attitudes lead to positive outcomes being we do not see things as they are, we see them as we are. So, be grateful, be gracious, and be generous because although we might not live the perfect life, we all live a life worth living.

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  6. Sarah Montagna

    I believe in gratitude. Above all, to me, gratitude is of upmost importance. I believe that one can be stripped of all their morals; all of their innocence but can still find decency in themselves with gratitude. Gratitude is a humbleness we possess as a species that is unique to us. It is what defies us. It is what keeps us united. Without gratitude, who would know where we would be. Disjointed? Disunited?
    Gratitude is defined as the quality of being thankful; but i affirm that it goes far beyond that. Saying “thanks” is much different than having gratitude towards something. Having gratitude is accepting the generosity, being humble and being empathetic. By having gratitude, one accepts their status and is grateful towards the graciousness of others. To me this goes beyond being thankful. Gratuity is omnipotent and pure. Where one finds happiness, they must also find gratitude.
    Conclusively, gratitude is the key to unlocking friendships, relationships and acquaintances. I believe in gratitude and the powers it has to make the world a better place.

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  7. Bridgette Sullivan

    I believe in planet Earth. There are eight planets in this galaxy and earth is the only one that is suitable for life. It is truly an amazing place. Just the mere fact that animals breathe in oxygen from plants and expel carbon dioxide for plants is fascinating to me because it shows how we are living in this amazing system of giving and getting. Unfortunately, it is apparent to me that there is more getting than giving.
    As The popular Fatboy Slim hit goes “I have to praise you like I should.” This is how I feel about Earth, our only home. We must become aware of the stress humans have placed upon Earth even by just enjoying simple things that appear to be harmless.
    It’s crazy to think that oreos are the equivalent of destruction, right? Wrong. The extraction of palm oil, which is found in oreos, is leaving many orangutans hopeless due to the destruction of their habitat. This is heartbreaking to me. Especially because it is unnecessary.
    Everyday I realize how we are truly living in a ‘throw-away’ society. This is just how I see the modern world and I don’t think it’s pessimistic but realistic. In fact, acknowledging the problem will make a change. The notion that by doing your small part you can’t make a difference so we might as well do nothing is apathetic. I believe we can’t be apathetic towards the platform for life, which is Earth. The Earth does not need life but life certainly needs Earth.

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    1. Ashtyn Phaneuf

      I couldn’t agree anymore, the beauty and bounty our planet naturally possesses is outstanding and it amazes me how many people overlook this. Planet earth is beautiful and we treat it as if it’s indestructible when it is far from it.

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  8. Roneeca Saunders

    Jamaica is my roots the place where I learned some of the most important lessons in life, like right from wrong and most of all, the true meaning of family and unity. This place gave me motivation to want to better myself a. There, I watch my father go out and put his life on the line every a night and day, A fisherman diving with his spare(fish gun) he made and led(iron weight) to submerge him deeper in the water. Without an oxygen tank for a source of income because the little book education he had, he had to provide for his children some way.
    If it was not for the cherished memories I have of my country and the familiarity of it, I wouldn’t be writing about it. It’s memories bring me back and make me feel humble .There are things that can’t rid out of a person so easily. My childhood in Jamaica has given me core values that I believe without a doubt have instilled in and made me who I am. Values that I live by such as loyalty integrity and respect. You have to respect where you are coming from understanding the struggle you have endured or you won’t be able to embrace and appreciate where you are headed. Be Loyalty and have integrity to who you are and what you believe in a generation where morals and self respect is very little and if your not apart of the mainstream you are underappreciated

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  9. Adam Cunningham

    Light, a miraculous phenomenon that races across our galaxies and our faces. Something so extremely vivid, yet so invisible. Light is the fastest and greatest thing in the entire universe, and it is amazingly beyond any human understanding. No matter how many times we try to test and converse with this anomaly that creates our universe, we will never truly understand the latent meaning that light has for us. Can light taste, speak, or hear? We need to learn to consider light as a friend and not just a commotion that runs about the world. Light is not just a simple thing with simple to no ideas. Light is something so unfathomably important to humanity, as well as, all life on Earth. Light is not a construct of photons, it is a construct of life itself. Light is always there in the background and will always be. Light is always in some vicinity, brightening an area which needs brightening. But what does light have to say for itself, is it happy with its life? Is it happy that it is used, time and time again, for a number of reasons but is never recognized. Fortunately, light is humble in this enactment, light sees itself as the main contributing factor to our successes and growth. It is thankful for our usage and dependence on its gifts, it sees our happiness and creativity through the use of itself and its many fruits. I believe in light, because light believes in us.

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    1. Ashtyn Phaneuf

      Such a cool essay. Isn’t it crazy that us humans truly do not know what darkness is? The darkest room you’ve been in still has traces of light and still in that room you are incapable of completing tasks without confusion. I love light.

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  10. Lauren Illes

    I wholeheartedly believe in strong friendships and the importance they can have on our lives. When I was younger, I had a hard time finding myself and discovering who I was. I was shy, didn’t talk much, and very awkward. I often embarrassed myself over minor events, or when trying to act cool in front of other, in my opinion, cooler kids.
    My first real friends that I had a strong connection with happened to me in fifth grade. I had two, and I still talk to both of them to this day. They both let me be my weird and awkward self, and I felt more comfortable around them. Although, I was still overly shy and embarrassed.
    In high school, whether or not you have all new friends or old friends from elementary school or middle school, that is where I think the bonds are the most important. All of the friends from high school, whether I still talk to them or not have influenced me greatly. Slowly but surely I opened up to them, becoming more vocal, more sure about myself, and expanding my humorous side.
    Soon enough, what I did and felt comfortable doing with my friends, spread to my outside interactions with other classmates. I decided to not let myself become so embarrassed as easily and go with my gut. Who I am as a person has been great influenced by the friendships I’ve made, and they will continue to determine who I am. And I have become increasingly grateful for everyone who I have had the chance to call my friends.

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    1. Ashtyn Phaneuf

      Couldn’t agree more. Friends have been such a crucial part of my life. I also was a shy kid so making friends was difficult. Not having friends is tough because you’re left with few sources to vent to and share things with, they also always help keep you busy and involved. I know mine brought me out of my shell a lot.

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  11. Andonaq Grozdani

    Happiness can be acquired by several different activities, such as playing a sport, joining a club, or spending family time. However, these activities most likely result in momentary happiness and one will get back to their normal self within no time. I believe in order to achieve long-term happiness; one has to learn to move on from past regrets, to move on from emotional distress, and accept the person they are becoming. Although this may be hard at first, one cannot let the little things affect them immensely. Whenever I come across a hardship, I frequently ask myself “Would this matter five to ten years from now?”
    Happiness cannot be acquired within a couple of months or even a couple of years. Not only do I believe it takes multiple obstacles, but it requires the need to emotionally and mentally pick oneself back up. It also requires one to accept the past, no matter how troubled it may have been. Happiness is as essential as food and a stable home. Without it, one will not be able to prosper on themselves.
    At this point in my life, I believe I am in the process of acquiring long-term happiness. I am in the process of getting on good terms with my past mistakes and learning from them. I believe life isn’t worth living without being happy because no matter what you may achieve in life, nothing can compare to the feeling of being truly happy.

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  12. Maxwell Shangraw

    I believe in local law enforcement. Words cannot express my gratitude for the brave men and women who work hard every day to make our communities a better place. They are truly heroes among us. I feel that it is not the badge nor the uniform that defines them, but rather the type of person they choose to be. It takes a special type of person to fulfill this position. Every day officers are met with challenges. No day for them is just your average day at the office. They risk injury to make sure that someone else can make it home safe. These men and women are exceedingly brave. Every day officers lace up their boots and strap on their bullet proof vests, not knowing what today’s shift will bring, not knowing that they will make it home safe to tuck their kids into bed. I have a personal respect for law enforcement. It all changed when a couple years ago multiple drug dealers moved into my neighborhood bringing with them a wave of crime. The neighborhood changed. People became scared. The amount of illegal activity skyrocketed. We became accustomed to witnessing drug transactions, and sketchy activity. It became dangerous to be outside late at night. Along with the rise of illegal activity came the rise of police activity. The sight of police brought relief. Within a few short months, the local police department was able to eradicate the dealers from my neighborhood, restoring everything to the way it was. I cannot thank local law enforcement agencies enough for all that they do. They have earned my respect and have made me realize how important they are to the community.

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  13. Lauren Cipolla

    What are the chances of myself, one of my fellow classmates, or a stranger on the street having been born? Most of us tend to take our existence on this earth for granted, which could be considered expected, given how easy it is to become caught up in one’s own affairs, family, etc. I believe if any of us knew what the actual probability was of being the chosen sperm to fertilize the egg and foster a brand new life, we may take our thoughts on life and how we live it in a bit different direction.

    One in four hundred trillion: according to the Huffington post, that is the probability of you and I having been born. Why do I bring this up? I feel fortunate to have won the great race, I cherish that, and I won’t stop until everyone around feels the same. This was a race I could not even consciously choose to win, yet it happened. I would be lying if I did not admit that there have been struggles in my life and in my family life. I do recognize, sympathize, and empathize with everyone no matter their extent of shortfalls. On the other hand, it is not possible to appreciate the beauty, mercy, and joy in life without having seen the good, the bad, and the ugly. At the end of the day, if we decide to take a breath, smile, and decide everything will be okay, we might just make that happen.

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  14. Nhi Nguyen

    Gratitude is considered an important virtue. But nowadays, gratitude is often time treated as a decorum rather than the actual feeling from the hearts while real gratitude is the path to great happiness. I believe in gratitude.
    When I was young, I would be happy and thank my mom for buying me my favorite food, but I would be upset with her when she forced me to eat vegetable. As I grow older, I’ve learned that unpleasant things, just like eating veggies, can be good to me. Good things bring pleasant and happiness when “bad” things leave me lessons and help me grow wiser. If I had the power to change my past, I would not want it to be any different. More recently I would not change the fact that I failed the road test so many times. I believe it just made passing the test more enjoyable. If I passed the driving test easily, I might be arrogant and end up driving carelessly which would cost me my life and the safety of many others’.
    It is, of course, not easy to be grateful all time despite of the hardships and sadness that I encounter every day. I believe that during my college years, there will be many more exams like the road test where I would continually fail. I may go through extremely stressful times when I lose my belief in my own values. But after all, I believe that no matter how hard life seems to be as long as I know how to be grateful, I will be happy. I believe gratitude brings happiness.

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  15. Rachel Nere

    “I don’t deserve to exist.” Those were the words of the five year old version of myself believed during dark moments. The older I got, the darker the moments and thoughts came to be. God, music, family, friends, books, anime, movies, writing, dancing, and so on, helped me to resist those thoughts. During my dark hours people told me to be grateful, that I do not know how much good I have. Rest assured many things did not come easy. However, one moment, made me reflect heavily.
    After coming from orientation for Umass Dartmouth, I headed towards my internship on State Street. While waiting for the bus at Sullivan Station, a young man asked me for money. I gave it to him. He asked “You go to Umass Dartmouth?”, I nodded saying, yes. He responded, “That’s good, I wish I could go to college.” He then thanked me for the money and we both went our ways. Later that night I saw him on State Street. He was laying on a dirty old sheet begging for money. He called out, “Hey, Sullivan!” I looked back. He gave a big smile to me and said, “Thank you for the dollar.” I responded, “You’re welcome,” and walked away.
    That moment woke me. It was a reminder to be grateful of what I have. What I believe now, is to embrace and be thankful of what you have. No matter what you go through, light will always shine through the darkness, no matter how dark you may think it is.

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  16. Ashtyn Phaneud

    I believe in appreciating our police officers. In a society where media continuously bashes our men and women in blue, I see importance in supporting the officers who give us a reliable source to contact in a state of panic. I do not discredit recent racially charged events in which officers target, harm, and even murder black people. I also do not discredit that this is also an issue with Hispanics and people of other ethnic backgrounds.
    Although there are many racist officers who should NOT wear that badge proudly on their chest. I am extremely grateful for the officers that put their lives on the line on a daily basis. Officers who are respectful yet stern, and get the job done efficiently with composure and tact. I have a lot of gratitude for those officers who head out on the streets to locate and perform protocol on any criminal whether they are black, white, yellow, purple, or orange.
    The title police officer is heavy, detrimental, and respectable. Some are not fit to carry such a title, yet somehow they still achieve it. The problem is not police officers, rather the cracks in the system that enable unfit officers to achieve their title. So it is important to not generalize all of our officers as racist murderers. Just as officers should not generalize and associate any race with crime. Society should practice respect and gratitude for others regardless of their skin tone or title. Society should come together rather than use weapons whether they be loaded guns or social media.

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  17. Maxwell Seibert

    Gratitude is something that is lacking in today’s society. I am not talking about just the simple “please” and “thank you” that you say to anyone that does anything for you. Real gratitude is being appreciative of everything you currently are blessed with and all the wonderful people that surround you. So why am i telling you this and why should you care is what you are thinking right? Trust me i would be too if some random guy was posting about gratitude and not giving any insight into why he feels this way. So i think the best way to explain my belief that gratitude is almost dead is to tell a story about how my perspective was changed.
    About six months ago this time I had started dating my first girlfriend. I was extremely happy because to me she was a perfect person and i was madly in love with her. We almost spent everyday of the week together and I dreaded the times we had to spend apart. After the first two months of our relationship she suddenly started to become less available. I being naive to relationships, had decided to just ignore this and just believe that she was actually busy. After about a month of this the uncertainty, the ignoring, and the not seeing her had got to me and i asked her why she was being so distant. She said long story short that with college coming she did not know what was going to happen and was scared so she thought it best that we “take a break for a week”. I was devastated because i knew what that answer meant. I had been so wrapped up in this girl that i was not myself and did not feel like myself until three weeks later. I went trough all the stages of grief until i finally came to accept what had happened and that there was nothing i could do about it.
    So you are probably guessing why i told you all of that, why does it matter, and what does it have to do with gratitude. The lesson in gratitude that i learned from this is not that i should be grateful that i even had a relationship, the lesson is that everyone should be grateful for the people that they have in their lives. When i was dating her and when we broke up, i had shunned myself from everyone that i knew and loved. All the people that had always been there for me and everyone who had always stuck by me. Even though i shunned myself from them they still supported me and were there for me when i was down the most. I remember thinking back on how selfish i was for just thinking about my own problems and wallowing in my own sorrow and ignoring all my friends and family. From that point on i decided that i would never let this happen again and i thought about how lucky i was to have an amazing group of people surrounding me. So everyone be grateful for the people that you have around you and that support you through all of life’s problems. When you think that you have it hard sometimes just remember that some people out there have no one that they can talk to or even comfort them about any serious or traumatic events in their life.

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  18. Benjamin

    Listening to music can be done I’m many ways. Although most people listen to music the average way with headphones, I believe that listening to it in concert is the best way to get full experience of the music. By going to a concert you get a different kind of feelings from the way the songs are played. With a concert you can feel the music with a beat of a drum, you can see how the artist wants it to be played by the looks on their faces. I believe a concert is the best way to experience music.
    With music from head phones you can only really get a 2D feeling. Music is an interesting thing the song is always going to be the same the words will stay the guitar riffs and smacks of the drum will stay. What you lose with head phones is the the feeling of the music. There is something about a live artist that can give you the chills you could feel the beat of the drums in your heart it’s a whole new experience. When at a concert you feel as if you are almost part of a giant wave of energy that envelopes all of you. I’m not saying that you cant feel the music with headphones i’m just saying a concert is just that to a much larger magnitude. I believe that Music is best portrayed when it is preformed live.

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  19. Randy Pereira

    I have a lot of beliefs in life but one thing that I really believe in strongly is that everyone deserves a second chance because there is no perfect human. Many mistakes are made in life but it is important to give second chances. The first step to giving second chances are to become forgiving of yourself and your actions to get the forgiveness of those you did wrong. On a personal level, I was able to make it to college thanks to a second chance. For the majority of my life I was given chances to pick my act together but I couldn’t get a hold of myself till my junior year in high school. When it came to serious matters like jeopardizing my relationship with others or even in school I’ve been able to bounce back into getting my act together when I’d think of my future. A couple years back I was at a rigorous high school called Boston Trinity Academy and it was one of the lowest parts of my life. I had a lot of troubles while attending this school to the point that I started failing academically and was then removed from the school. An alternative school was my parents idea of forcing me into a good path but I believed it wasn’t for me nor would it improve me academically. I have always felt more comfortable in a regular school, and had a discussion with them where they took a step towards a second chance and forgiveness. This was my last chance if I wanted to get into a good college. I started going to school, hanging around positive influencing people in my school and started to see how much I improved from being a failure in Boston Trinity Academy to being academically successful. Honor roll was my goal and it became my reality throughout my junior year while playing basketball, eventually finishing off my senior year strong and graduating. Graduating high school is my biggest reason for believing in a second chance because if it wasn’t for my parents forgiveness and Charlestown high school I wouldn’t be a college student today.

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  20. Sean Smith

    I believe that one of the most important characteristics that one can have is gratitude. Throughout all of our lives, we have accomplished many various things to get to where we are today. Despite our many differences, we all, as college students, have one similarity found in our journeys to get to where we are today; nobody did it alone. Perhaps an individual’s family helped them significantly in their academic career. Teachers commonly provide massive assistance in forming a student’s character as well. Maybe even a role model such as a professional athlete or actor is largely responsible for making a person who he or she is. No matter the case, however, a sense of gratitude is necessary to give these figures the thanks and the respect that they deserve. At least in my experience, nobody was asked to help me. Of course, teachers were told to try and get me to understand the material, but nobody told anybody in my life to go out of their way to make sure I developed into the person that I’m supposed to be. For that reason, I must thank everybody who assisted me in my life with extreme gratitude. To be appreciative of the sacrifices that another has made on their behalf not only shows respect, but it additionally displays a level of maturity and the ability to understand what factors of your life are the most important. Displaying gratitude is also clearly visible and is important in gaining respect, making connections and building a reputation as a good person. Think about it. When someone thanks you profusely for holding the door for them at school, you immediately think of the person as kind and respectful, but if somebody says absolutely nothing, you feel as though they may not be respectful and you may even feel slightly offended. The event of holding a door is trivial and certainly not life changing, of course, but the same idea is mirrored in many more important events throughout life. Additionally, gratitude can come in many ways. It may be a simple spoken “thank you,” or it may be a head nod. It may also be shown by a sense of debt. Most commonly, however, true gratitude is shown in the form of considerable respect for the individual who one is grateful for. A human in our society should naturally venerate one who has helped them along the way; if your mother provided you with all of the tools necessary for success then, in most cases, you will develop a strong respect for that one individual out of gratitude. It is important to note that this sense of respect is the most effective and the most desirable way to be truly grateful to somebody. Respect provides the helpful individual with adequate compensation for what they have done on another’s behalf. Respect is much more desirable than a simple “thank you,” and to respect those who deserve it in one’s life is a truly great virtue to have.

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