Name: Matthew Bugajski
From: Maple Grove, Minnesota
School: Maple Grove Senior High
Just the thought of folding towels makes teenagers run scared from the chore’s brain numbing tedium. When volunteering at the local
hospital I put on my sterile scrubs, take the elevator down to the
brilliant white halls of my department, and move my way through the
empty labyrinth. Upon reaching my station, I begin to fold towels for
three hours straight.
Folding for three hours makes the mind eager for something to consider. My thoughts are given free range during this time and my imagination starts to wander. As I am folding the forest green towels I wonder: Is folding towels in the lowest basement really going to make any
difference? Do I even have enough time to make some sort of an
impact? Only a few people see me and it is not like they pass out
recognition or awards bearing the title of Towel Folding Champion.
Thankfully, I still had two hours left to mull over answers to these questions and why it was that I continued to fold towels. I realized that not everything I do will have a direct effect that I can observe.
Usually, I can see the results of my actions right away, but in
folding towels the purpose was blurred at first. Now I understand the
importance of being a part of something larger than my immediate task
and it became clear that my views should be holistic, not based
purely on individual motives. So, before I jump to conclusions about
the unconstructive nature of being locked away under the glow of
fluorescent lights, I remember that hospital personnel are relying on
me to do my job.
With one hour left at the hospital, I gaze down at the towel. Tattered on the sides and slightly worn in the middle, this towel is seemingly insignificant, but somehow I know it is going to great places to do great things.