S-U-C-C-E-S-S starts with D-I-F-F-E-R-E-N-C-E

Essay by freespirit01 October 2006

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Poverty. Political Instability. Chaos.

These are the problems our destitute motherland suffers nowadays.

I remember one day I saw a mother and her kid walking on the street barefoot, carrying an infant. If you were there, you would probably say "Yuck" or "Eewwww" to their guise. Their filthy-afterwar-like clothing which looked like they passed through flying missiles in the Gulf War is pitiful. They are filled with those icky bruises, those types that never seem to heal. They search the garbage can, hoping to find left-over foods. And believe me; even the grossest provisions (e.g. leftover drinks, even biting nails!) they would eat just to get their hungry (and I mean HUNGRY) stomachs stuffed.

I admit that our family also suffers the effects of poverty. I came from a public school but I finished as the second honorable mention. My parents seldom work, and my brother gets salary enough to support our needs for a week.

I recall an elementary friend of mine named Leah whose parents work at minimum wage salaries. She goes to school walking, with her heavy bag. By the way, she is also a top-performing student in our section, well, at least for the first semester. Then, I noticed a peculiar trend: why are her quiz scores low? Why is her performance rating going down?

A few months later, our Social Studies (then called MAKABAYAN) teacher organized groups for our project. Leah became my group mate, along with 6 others (we were divided into 7 groups, 8 persons each). I became the leader and took charge.

As we progressed, I observed that Leah became quieter. Ten minutes later, I asked for a break, so that I can have a chance to talk with her.

I opened the talked by asking her softly, "Leah, okey...