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Simply Maya

How does it feel to be ten?

Maya Hand

(October, 2010)  My birthday was in September. How does it feel to be ten? It feels great, and Iím extra excited because I finally turned double digits! Mom says itís a really big deal to turn ten. As I get older I will be getting more responsibilities, opportunities, and privileges. For example, Mom and dad were just talking to me about the possibility of a summer camp next summer where I would spend a week at a college learning about science (my favorite subject in school). Iím excited about all the opportunities that lie ahead!

As kids get older and gain more responsibilities and privileges, itís kind of like a journey to adulthood. As we are going through the journey and building our understanding of things, learning lessons, and gaining responsibilities, we are all driving to our own destinations.

When weíre little we donít have a lot of responsibilities. Weíre still packing for the trip. Weíre packing memories, smiles, learning what it is to use our imaginations, learning basic lessons like treating other people as theyíd like to be treated, and learning what it is to feel safe and loved. To grow and learn, a little kid needs to feel loved and safe at home so that later on when they go out into the world, they feel comfortable trying new things. Feeling safe and secure with our family and others close to us also helps us when we grow up know what to look for with friends or in a spouse for example.

By the time a kid turns 10, we have already packed the bags we needed to get started and weíre on the road. We should have already learned some basicsÖ how to treat others as they would like to be treated, to be truthful, to respect our parents, to speak words of kindness, to treat other peopleís things with respect, etc.. I also think itís so important to appreciate the things around us. For example, food, shelter, nature, family and friends, animals, the sun and darkness, rainÖ everything.

Of course we all have different lessons we still need to learn, or things we need to experience to be able to understand things better. One thing I work on is always trying to make the more important decisions even if Iíd rather make the other maybe more enjoyable ones. For example, should I make a yarn doll, or should I go downstairs and hang out with my mom and dad because I havenít spent much time with them all week? Or, should I go the ballgame with a friend, or stay home and finish my homework? As much as I may want to go the ball game, I should stay and finish my homework because thatís more important and there will be many more ballgames.

Nobody would learn or understand a lot without certain experiences on the journey. For example, once at school one of the Sisters came in and talked to us about her work in Kenya and showed us pictures on the projector. Some of the kids she had worked with had to walk miles to school and lived in unclean homes and villages with dirty water and little food. I learned a lot from her visit, and Iím sure she learns a lot from her trips there. Many people in the world donít have access to education or even clean water or food to feed their family. And there are people in different places in the world that experience earthquakes, hurricanes, and tsunamis. They see other people get hurt, they are scared, they live knowing that lots of people lost their lives, and many lose their homes or their own family members. Itís really sad. Most of us have clean water, food, the ability to get an education. We need to help people in other places to have better lives. We should also try to persuade other people to help change the world. Learning about Sisterís experiences in Africa helped me to understand how big the world is and to better understand my place in the world.

One way Iím continuing my own personal journey of growth and learning is through these articles. I feel that the articles I have been writing are not only hopefully helping people that are reading them, but I also feel that they are like therapy for me, because I am thinking about things and focusing on them even more because Iím writing about them. Writing these articles helps me to learn and grow in knowledge and in my heart. I guess Iím still packing and sorting through my bags along the way!

And that brings up something important. Remember earlier when I was talking about how we pack for the trip? Well, along the journey, at all those exciting places we go, we keep going through our luggage and finding new things to add and taking out what we donít need any more. And thereís something else really important Iíd like to tell you. When youíre on the trip, take notes. Youíll look back at those wonderful memories, and hopefully continue to make more.

Read other articles by Maya Hand