A "What Do You Believe?" essay by Colin Hassell

In the hustle and bustle in a fast paced society, it is often easy to lose track of the simple pleasures in life. I believe in the little moments in life. These little moments can often be overlooked and at some times may seem small and insignificant, but they sometimes are the ones that remain imprinted in memory for a life time and leave a lasting impression.

Over the past four years of my high school career, I had the privilege to attend Christian Brothers Academy (CBA), a private, all-boys high school. During orientation freshman year, I remember the administration advising us to make the most of our high school experience and not to become a "9 to 5 student," who just came to school for classes and left at the end of the day, without participating in any extra-curricular activities. With this advice in mind, I was determined to make the most of my high school experience, spending most of my days at school long after the official school day ended. Whether it was for sports, clubs, or staying in the library to do homework, I barely ever left school before 2:30. Walking through the halls after school, I often ran into the migrant workers, who worked to clean the school once the academic day ended. I always seemed run into one of the workers, Francisco, and made a habit of greeting him with a "Hello" or "Hey Francisco," as he would return my greeting with a simple, "Hey my friend." Although a rather small gesture, I thought that it was a nice thing to do, let alone a common courtesy, as many students often passed by, looking the other way and not saying a word.

One day my junior year, I had stayed after school to rehearse for a school talent show and was sitting outside the theater playing my guitar. Francisco happened to walk by, greeted me, and talked to me a little, previously not knowing that I played guitar. A few weeks later, I was sitting in the library doing my homework after school when Francisco walked into empty the garbage can. After doing so, he came over to me with a guitar pick in his hand and gave it to me. Although a rather small gift, this simple gesture and act of kindness touched me.

As my time at CBA came to a close, I continued to talk to Francisco if I passed by him in the hallway. Just as I valued the small gift of a guitar pick, I was sure that Francisco also appreciated someone stopping to talk to him, as many students passed by without even acknowledging him. Just the other night I was at a dinner, when Gerry, a parent of a junior at CBA was telling a story of how his son was touched by a small act of kindness by one of the brothers, who came by each homeroom to thank the students for a wonderful year. Gerry said that it is truly the little things in life that people remember. When my time at CBA came to a close, I began to reflect on this and how little moments are the ones that stick out in life. The guitar pick was a rather simple gift, but it is one that carries sentimental value. I have often heard people say that it is not the gift, but that thought that counts. In this case, that statement is true. Francisco's gift was special because the thought was genuine. In doing so, he made an impression on my life and created a moment that I will carry with me for the rest of my life. I believe that in life, it is the little moments that stick out, making a lasting impression and touch someone in the heart.


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