This past June I made my way across the Atlantic to visit one of the Seven Wonders of the World, The Coliseum. While waiting for my ticket to be purchased to get inside, I made my way to the many vendors set up with various tchotchkes, postcards, and more. A man with a cardboard box hung around his neck approached me and tried to get me to purchase one of his knock- off Rolexes. I told him over and over “No, thank you” but he just couldn’t take that for an answer. Since he hounded me with so many offers, I decided ask him where he was from. He told me that he and many of the other vendors were from Somalia. I then asked him why he was here in Italy, he nonchalantly replied with one word, “Money.”
“I need a passport and she needs school: to read.” he said. The man then proceeded to point to a little girl behind him who looked to be about three years old. This was all they had, just a worn out lawn chair, a box of fake Rolexes and what little hope they had left.
Thinking about the life I had left for two weeks back at home made me realize how good I had it. My father wasn’t trying to make ends meet by selling watches outside the Coliseum gates. And I knew how to read. I had never been thankful for being able to read. Now with the holidays around the corner, families coming into town, I cannot think of a better tradition to end the holiday season with; being thankful. My friends, my school that has allowed my love for writing to be nurtured, my home, a country where I can speak freely, my mother, my father, everything. Every opportunity that has been put at my feet even if it ended in failure. Everything.
And after that trip I began writing in a journal one good thing that happened to me each day- which I still do. Whether it is passing my math test, waking up on time, or learning something new, I know I have something to be thankful for every day. So as I close out this year and ring in the new one I hope that this tradition will continue to open my eyes and allow me to take in so much more of this world.
-Madison George, Social Media Editor