I tend to zone out on my thoughts. I tend to think a lot. I get a feeling when certain things make me open my mind. While attending the “Arch of Baltimore” event on Monday evening I got this same feeling. I got to the view the world from the eyes of others. What a great opportunity.
As students started to enter the auditorium, we were handed a piece of paper that stated, “If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?” Having no idea what this was for, I simply wrote done “my patience level.” I didn’t even have to think about my answer because patience has always been something I needed to work on. Dr. Andrea Leary, who sponsored this event, started to introduce herself and the people around her. She explained that the “stars” of the show were those who were sitting in front of. But first we had to watch a video. “If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?” This is how the video started off. More of an interview I would say though. Those with special disabilities stood in front of the camera, just like they were sitting in front of me. This was the part when I started to zone out. As most of the individuals answered “ I wouldn’t change anything about myself.” I began to think. I went into a place where my thoughts began to run. Just like Thomas Lynch does in the “Liberty,” he finds his form of freedom. But, in my case I didn’t do it to get away I did it to think about what these individuals actually meant. “Their life is a lot worst then mines and they still appreciate the fact that they are living. They have no reason to complain. So why should I?” The end of the video interrupted my thoughts.
My new friends then started to tell us their stories. And it’s amazing how each of them had something to tell. They talked about their hobbies, jobs and of course their friends. Not only that, they spoke about things to make us laugh. Whether it was intentional or not, seeing them smile after our laughter made me happy. Just a hour with people I hardly even knew made me learn a lot. They are just like you and me. They have a story to tell with perhaps a better journey then ours.
Closer to the end of this event a young lady named Claire spoke with us. She explained that she had volunteered about three years ago and met two ladies that are now her best friends. They sat right next to her. They were two of the ladies that had a special disability and had been talking to us for the past hour. She talked about all the fun things they do and how they change her life every day. “By just a simple hand of volunteer, I know enjoy every moment with these girls.” Claire said.
Although I volunteered while in high school, I never did anything to that extreme. I always had a “wall” up that blocked me from dealing with real life situations. Edgar Allen Poe puts up a wall for his character in the story “The Cast of Amontillado.” Montesor’s wall was slightly different though. He puts up his wall to get revenge on someone who becomes an enemy. Instead of dealing with the situation up front, he tricks his enemy into what was his death trap. My wall reminded me of Montesor’s because I never wanted to face my fear up front as well. I never wanted to admit the fact that I was scared to deal with those who were different then me. Along with growing up, this event helped me realize a lot. My new friends had the same hobbies, interest and ideas as me. They were no different.