Youth Forward Scholarship Winter 2016 – Difference for the Moment

Name: Sara Adelaide Komarek
From: Fillmore, Utah
Grade: 12
School: Millard High School
Votes: 134

I find that gentleness and kindness are most abundant when involving people that obviously cannot help themselves. This is why so many service projects involve handicapped, elderly, or sick individuals. Within the last four years I have been blessed to be able to serve long-term patients at my local hospital. Through National Honor Society, Governing Youth Council and my position as a Youth Representative and County Royalty I have been able to talk with, complete puzzles, and deliver homemade blankets to patients quite regularly. I even spent about four months visiting weekly to play the piano for in-hospital church services.

It can be difficult when you try to have a conversation when their words are mumbled or disoriented, and some don’t respond to you at all. Helping them accomplish a simple task is lengthy and slow-moving. For me, my personality is fast- I think ahead, I keep myself busy, I always have something “important” to be doing. Volunteering at the hospital, however, demands me to slow down. “Stop thinking about your never ending ‘to do’ list and focus on the here and now,” it quietly
reminds me.

Although never my intention to improve my situation, I have been amazed by the way my life has been enriched through this small service. I haven’t made any money and I’ve instead invested time- but I am happier, and more thankful, kind, and patient, because of my experiences with these incredible long-term patients. Humbly forgetting your own wants and needs in order to meet another’s has a way of turning itself around and filling your own life with hope, joy and love.

If I were to come back to this town in the next twenty years, the people I spent my time with won’t be remembering me. They might even be gone. A plaque with my name will not be hanging by their beds and you won’t hear them discussing over lunch the blanket I brought. Maybe the world wasn’t changed through my actions- there is still hunger, sickness, grief, sorrow. But for that day, that moment, her eyes looked less vacant and twinkled when she looked at me. His laugh was
loud, though it may have been raspy. Feeble hands found strength as they held mine. I didn’t change the world, but I changed that moment for them. Being able to give a little bit more kindness, a little bit more hope to others, is really all I could ask for.

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