In Honor of the Resilient

Lavernne Quilatan, 8th Grade

At a very young age, I’ve learned that this world can be a very dark place . It doesn’t matter how strong you are because this remorseless word will always be trying to throw you to the ground. Whether we get back up or not, is up to us. But, something that I find hard to believe, is that there are people out there especially in my home country, the Philippines; innocent human beings, children, and parents who are struggling even to find food or a place to sleep.

My mother once told be that there was a boy at her school that was kidnapped by a gang. The gang took him, along with another group of children, to an empty building where they were treated with utmost cruelty. There were no beds to sleep on, they were starved almost to death, and they were isolated from their families. I could only imagine the fear that they felt, the anger of being robbed of their lives, and the hopelessness of the situation, all mixed up into a pile of emotions. The children were then forced to become beggars. But this little boy, he was one of the very few people that was saved. He didn’t lose hope, neither did he stay fearful of his kidnappers, but rather, he stayed brave and resilient.

I took a while to think about this story and it reminded me of the time I visited the Philippines. There was this little girl that came up to me. She was petite, with worn out clothes and dirt on her face. She didn’t say anything, but she held out her hand as if she was asking for food. I could see the sadness and the pain in her eyes and it crushed my heart. I realized how lucky I was as a person. I lived in America, I was well educated and had a loving family, and I couldn’t have been more grateful.

So, if I were to give someone a gold medal, it would be to the ones out there who still have the faith and the strength in themselves to fight in life. To the courageous children, who even through the most difficult of times, still have hope in their hearts. To the mothers and fathers who work multiple jobs just so they can take care of their family. To the people who experience excruciating pain everyday of their lives and yet, still has a smile on their face. I would give it them. And it would be out of genuine appreciation and respect in honor of their fortitude.