Rotary Laws of Life essay winners announcedPublished 10:05pm Tuesday, April 29, 2014
Four Bainbridge High School students read their winning Laws of Life essays to the Bainbridge Rotary Club at Tuesday’s meeting.
Jeanine Halada, coordinator of the local Laws of Life, said this year had the highest percentage of student participation since the program’s local inception in 2006. She reported 87.2 percent, or 1182 students took part in writing an essay, sharing their most personal moments and thoughts. She said Bainbridge always has at least 20 students who place at the state level.
The Georgia Laws of Life Essay Contest is sponsored by the Rotary District Character Education Program Inc. and invites students to write a composition based on a saying or maxim that illustrates positive character values.
Those students who read their compositions were:
Sarah Michael Farrington who chose Matthew 6:21, “Wherever your treasure is, there your heart is also.”
She related how she and her brother always had to go with their mother to her grandparents after school, when all she wanted to do was go home and watch
TV. She had no appreciation for spending time with her grandparents. Then her grandpa died and she was amazed at the large numbers of people who came to the visitation, which she found massive and intimidating. “I prayed it would be over soon,” she admitted. But, as she listened to the number of people who came to tell how much they loved and appreciated him, she came to regret it took her so long to appreciate him. She said “PaPa loved people and reveled in God — that and leaving on a trip on time so he could stop at his favorite place to eat,” she added with a laugh.
Her theme was that material things do not last. “I want my heart to be in Heaven, to love God and others. That is the best place for my heart to be.”
Bryce Howell, a 10th graader spoke on “There is a lot of difference between listening and hearing.” He went on to relate an episode involving setting off fireworks at the beach, after being advised by his father not to do it at that time. He and his cousin proceeded to launch a rocket, which backfired and came toward the beach houses, where it caught the grass on fire. He hastened to try to put out the fire, and saw a large crowd had gathered. It included his father who had a very disappointed look on his face.
Savannah Locke spoke on self-worth and how she learned, “The only thing standing in your way is you.” She told of her depression and pretending to everyone that everything was fine. She was not happy with herself and just wanted to become someone else. She learned that you have to decide you are not going to stay where you are, that if you don’t like it you have to change it. She went to work on her image, lost 40 pounds in 4 months. She regrets she waited so long to change.
Ralyn Willis, an 11th grader spoke on appreciation, and being thankful for what you have.
She recalled when she reached her 16th birthday she was so excited because all of her friends were getting cars and she could hardly wait to see hers. Her dad had always told her she would get his old Chevy truck to drive. Sure enough, that is what she got. She said she was disappointed, but learned to be thankful.
“It’s not about social status, but what gets me where I need to go,” she explained. She knows there will always be those with more than she has and believes it teaches a life lesson when you don’t always get what you want. You learn to be thankful for what you have and then you’ll always have enough.