The So-Called Friends

The lunch bell had rung, and as Julie was walking down the hall to meet up with her friends for lunch, a classmate pulled her aside. He said that her friends had gone for lunch without her and told Julie that he overheard her so-called friends laughing about how they pretended to like her all these years. Confused she started walking into the cafeteria where everyone was sitting and sat down by a girl named Becca from her class. Becca noticed something was wrong with Julie, so they went for a walk and she told her everything that had happened. As they walked Becca said, “jerks are mean and they lie”. After they talked about the situation, Julie felt much better about what happened. Becca and her mom were going for lunch. She had kindly offered for Julie to go with her, but she had a dentist appointment in the afternoon.

This isn’t the way the story starts though. A couple years ago, it all began with a friendship that had started. It was a fairly close friendship from the start. There were many people that were in her class but she knew that maybe these people were the right friends. Julie’s friends were in her grade since kindergarten. They had talked a few times when they were little. They had allowed Julie to hangout with them since she didn’t have any real close friends during that time. Julie enjoyed hanging out with these people every day and soon found out they had quite a bit of things in common. As they continued to hangout every day, they started doing everything together. Julie and her friends had some amazing moments and memories.

There was that one time that Julie remembered when they had a sleepover. It was such a fun night. After school, they had gone over to her friend’s house on the bus. They went to the grocery store and bought cheesecake, chips, chocolate, and candy. They had split the cost because wow! It was quite the cost. Julie and her friends had gone back to the house and set up a little hut and made beds in it. They stayed up most of the night watching movies and eating junk food. The next morning they woke up and ate some delicious breakfast. Julie had gone home later that afternoon. That was a great memory that Julie had with them.

Julie also remembers the time when her one friend had faked being mad at them as a joke. She refused to talk to them all the afternoon and was pretending to give them the silent treatment. Julie was confused but had a suspicion that her other friend was in on the joke. She felt like she had done something wrong even though she remembered everything she had said and done and nothing should have made her mad. After school that day, Julie had a dance class so she and her mom were driving when they had seen Julie’s friends walking together. Puzzled, as she had thought the one friend was mad at both of them, Julie texted her friend and asked her if she was still mad at her. Her friend had read the message but decided not to respond. All weekend, Julie kept thinking about this situation and what she could have done to start it. Nothing she had said could have made her give them the cold shoulder. After a long weekend of thinking about it, Monday came and when she arrived at school she seen her two friends chatting and laughing together. After she unpacked her bag, Julie went over to ask why she had seemed like she was mad at them. They had laughed and said it was a joke the whole time. Julie felt a little better knowing she didn’t do anything but she felt like that was not a good decision a friend could have made.

Julie and her friends got closer every day they hung out. Soon they felt a layer of trust between them. One day, they had decided to share their passwords because they trusted each other more than 100%. She and her friends used to make study guides together all the time, well mostly Julie would always take time out of her day to make the study guides on the weekends. There was a social test the week that her friends had betrayed her. They had decided to use her password to log into her google account. In which then they went to her google docs and copy and pasted her whole study guide onto their own account. Julie had gotten an alert on her phone that a computer had been logged into her account in which the computer was located in Lloydminster. Julie then had to go and change all her passwords to every site she had because she used the same password for everything. Julie learned a lesson that even though you may have more than 100% trust in a friend, they may not prove that trust to you and this could happen.

Three weeks ago before the story even started, Julie’s friends were already planning on how to tell her that they didn’t want to be friends with her anymore. They were faking their friendship with her because they didn’t know how to tell Julie. Julie knew there was something wrong with how her friends were acting around her. She never thought that the reason they were acting like that was that they didn’t want to be her friends anymore. The morning this all happened, started out like an ordinary day for Julie, except that her friends were acting extremely strange around her. Gym class had ended and it was lunch time for the school, Julie had lunchroom that day and she had asked her friends if they could come wait with her in line after they grabbed their lunches. Their reply was “sure Julie”. Well, let’s just say they didn’t come back to wait in line with Julie. They ended up going to lunch with Julie’s friend’s brother and another girl from their class. She ended up walking down the hall thinking maybe they had just forgotten but instead they had left. Later in the afternoon, Julie’s friends had texted her and saying “ we are so sorry and we didn’t mean for it to happen this way”. Ever since then, Julie’s friends have not talked or even said a word about how they might have hurt Julie. That is when she had found out everything about her so-called friends. Jerks are mean and they definitely lie.

 

Counter-Culture

Counter-culture is a group in which the values and norms of behavior run counter to those of mainstream society. A counter-cultural movement expresses the ethos or a specific population during a defined era. Counter-cultures trigger dramatic cultural changes. Some era times could be a point in time such as the wars, revolutions, and historical periods.

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The beatitudes are counter-cultural because they flow against the stream of our everyday life. For example: Jesus says, “Blessed are the poor in spirit for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” Being poor in spirit is an invitation to become more reflective and not so reactionary. It is learning to live with wonder not facts.

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Being a Christian means that you are changed on the inside. It does not mean that you are controlled from the outside. It means that your heart has been changed inside by the presence of God. It does not required to go to church, to pay tithes, to be good,or to do anything in order to stay a Christian. It means you desire to do those things because you’ve been changed. Having God or Jesus in your life makes a positive change in your life. In the Old Testament times, God had given the Law which had to be followed precisely. There were strict instructions about clothes, food, what you could or could not do on the Sabbath, what you would have to do in the temple, how priests were to carry out their functions, how strangers were to be treated, and how people were to be punished, etc.

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Postulates of Faith Discussion

“Can something really come from nothing at all”? This question is asked throughout time and numerous medieval philosophers have created arguments about this subject and there were two possible hypothesis’s and then a the conclusion that sums up all the details. Hypothesis #1: the universe began to exist Hypothesis #2: whatever begins to exist has to have a cause. Conclusion: Therefore, the universe has to be the cause. Altogether, something would have had to move all of our space bodies. Going way back to the infinite time in which objects tend to get smaller and smaller. This would not make sense, because scientifically, they would have eventually been so small, making it impossible to exist. Something had to create the start from nothing. Something would most likely have had to move the objects away from each other like they are now. God could have created these objects from the beginning. This is a very logical explanation to the question.  An example is in math there are simple math equations and there are tougher problems. A simple problem would be perhaps 2 + 2 = 4. There aren’t many different explanations on how someone could have gotten 4 because you simply add 2 and 2 together. In a different case, if you did a ratio question, for example 2:4 can be done in 2 other ways. 2 to 4 or 2/4. You can do this question in more than one correct way. Another example is the solar system. Something has to be moving all the planets away from each other. If nothing was moving them away, they would have simply crashed into one another by now, which would make the universe non-exist. 

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There are simply 5 ways to prove that God exists. This can be done through 1) motion: something or someone has to cause motion. When we do sports, we are in motion or moving. When we write, we are moving our hand in motion. Something would have to create motion because if no one did, then how did motion begin. Anything that moves would have to have been moved by a “first mover” and in this case it would have to have been God. 2) cause and effect: anything in existence has to have had a cause and effect. fires cause heat, tornadoes cause damage, water causes growth. Any of these examples would have to have a cause and then soon an effect. When fire creates heat, the fire is the cause and the heat is the effect. The fire is starting the heat and the heat keeps us warm when it’s cold. If the wood, nails, and tools are just sitting on the ground, they are not going to form into a house itself. Something would have to make it which is a cause and effect. Since everything needs a cause, there must be something that is what caused all this to happen which would be God. 3) existence: every item you use in your everyday life would have to have come into existence in which it might not have been created in the past. It would have to be created and put together for it to be existing. If nothing comes from something then there has to be something that lives with power to create everything. In this case it would be God. 4) progression: in the world everything is to its maximum. It is either good, better or the best. For example: water is to it’s maximum. It provides us with pure, clean drinking water, lets us keep clean and many other functions. If something created everything, it would have had to be made in progression. Since God must be the creator of all things then he must be to his maximum. 5) design: the last of the ways to prove that God exists. Everything that exists has its features and functions. For example, a flower uses it leaves to capture sun for food. The sun will always cause the plants to grow and stay alive. In order for our world and universe to stay a certain way it needs to follow order and structure. Our universe would then perhaps act in a way that maybe God would like it to. God then would then use it’s ways and be the creator of everything. To answer the question, it would be unreasonable to believe that God didn’t exist.  Now only if we could figure out if Darth Vader existed!

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The words soul and self are tied into the same concept of do human’s have an immortal soul. The main concept is the natural immortality of the human soul. The soul in fact accounts for the life in which old time philosophers call “immanent action”. Immanent action comes from the Latin term meaning “to remain” “in”. The soul or self acts as an essential that needs to be there for life. there are two major powers of the soul. They include the power to know and the power to will. There is a distinction between a soul and a the person. It is a very hard topic to explain but there needs to be a connection the person’s body and it has to be able to contribute to the soul’s ability to have the power to know. In order for the soul to properly be able to have the power to know, it would need a properly functioning brain. If there is possibly a God , then there must be final justice. Since final justice so often does not occur in everyday life, there must be a next life in which justice will be served. In conclusion, humans do have an immortal soul.

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When many people think of the world freedom, they think they can do whatever they want, whenever they want. Although that is not what the term freedom means. Freedom means doing what ever you want but you need to take responsibly with it. Humans receive free will that was granted to them by God himself. The title labelled “Freedom and Responsibility,” stated under the 1731, “Freedom is the power, rooted in reason and will, to act or not to act, to do this or that, and so to perform deliberate actions on one’s own responsibility. Free will shapes one’s own life. Human freedom is a force for growth and maturity in truth and goodness; it attains its perfection when directed toward God, our beatitude”. This means that freedom is a power that is rooted to perform actions that shows on someone’s responsibility. Human freedom is a force of maturity that is directed by our own father; God. The response to the question would be that humans have free will but to an extent that they need to take responsibilities for their actions and freedoms.  

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Friendship Tableau

tableau or tableau vivant is in French culture called a “living picture”.  In this type of presentation, the actors take a position and no movement occurs for 30 seconds. As the students are frozen, they try to portray the main message of a scene. This activity was similar to the trend of the Mannequin Challenge in 2016. A few of the scenes that groups had to act out were fairly easy while others were harder to stay frozen in that position. After the group who was acting unfroze, the others that were sitting in the audience had to try and guess what was going on in the scene.

When a student arrives at a new school they feel left out and sometimes fit in perfectly. Welcoming a new student into your friend group is a very kind thing to do. Most times they know nobody from that school and could use a friend to get them through the day. The tableau that a group had to show was: Portray a scene in which one member of the group is introducing a new person to the group. In this one, one person was introducing the new person and everyone was welcoming them into their group. The tableau was fairly easy to show and guess for the group and audience.

For many friend groups there will always be one person in your group who will be sad but not necessarily one in particular. As a friend, it is your responsibility to comfort that person and make sure they are ok. In order for a healthy relationship within your friends, you need to be there for one another in hard times. Show you are a good friend and that you will always be there to listen whenever they need to talk. Not even single person has to comfort them in the same way. They can do it in multiple ways. The tableau that the group had to show was: Portray a scene in which one member is sad. The others comfort this person in various ways. In this one, a person is sad and all their friends are comforting them in various ways. This particular tableau was fairly easy to show and create for the audience to guess.

In a school, classroom, lunch or even outside of school, you will see a large group of friends talking and enjoying chatting among one another. The key to friendships are to talk within each other and not be on your phones or ignoring them. Communication is a key factor not just within friend groups but even outside of school. When yo go to college or university, you will need to be able to talk with other people and not just the people you grew up with. Your friends are not going to be in the same class as you in university. The tableau that the group had to show was: Portray a scene in which the people enjoy talking in a large group. In this one, a group of friends were talking among one another and enjoying the company. For the group and audience this tableau was pretty easy to show and guess.

This was quite a fun activity that I enjoyed. Watching all the groups try and show their tableau was quite funny and interesting. Standing in front of the class trying not to laugh or move was challenging but easy at the same time.

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Mankind has a decisive need for …

On February 12, 2018, 7 members of a team called Pure Witness held a retreat in our gym for the afternoon. The retreat was called “revive retreat”. The leaders helped us strengthen our faith and become closer to Jesus. Revive Retreats are an invitation for the youth to get to know Jesus in a very personal way.  Through witnesses of missionaries, students are  invited to have a personal relationship with Jesus.  Having a relationship with Jesus, helps us live with purpose and helps make the world a better place. Pure Witness Ministries is dedicated to challenging Catholics to become pure witnesses of their faith by setting Christ at the heart of their lives.

Pure Witness has a few social media pages you can find them on: YouTube, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

Revive my heart, renew my soul“. This saying was used quite a few times by the 7 leaders. Jesus wants to revive your heart, but in order for him to do that, you need to let him into your heart and lives. Your responsibility as a person is to open your heart to Jesus and let him in. You need to renew your soul and allow Jesus to be with you every step of the way. The team also explained to us how God and Jesus are with you all the time no matter where you are and when you need them. God and Jesus will always be with you no matter the time and day.

They gave us a few speeches about God and how you can become closer to him. They also gave personal stories about themselves and how they came closer to God. The stories and speeches they told were very inspirational and taught me a few things. Activities like rallying  and getting us pumped up was one of my favorites. They split half of us into team Micheal and the other half into team Courtney. Competing against team Michael was such a blast. Playing the word scramble in front of everyone and going up to the front was loads of fun.  I enjoyed every minute that we did competitions against team Michael. Although Team Michael took the win, it was such a blast and an amazing experience.

They put on a couple dramas that told stories through plays. One play was about Cinderella. The other was about a man named Ian McCormack. The 7 leaders were able to do the plays in different accents and even do quick changes for costumes. The plays were very entertaining and so fun to watch. During some of the plays, the actors lip spoke some of the words and I found it so interesting to see their talent and what they could do.

Ian McCormack was a man who didn’t believe in God at the beginning of his life but soon learnt about his relationship with God. His mother and father were very close with God and she prayed for Ian every day and every minute she could. Ian decided that him and his friend were going to go on a trip. Ian’s friend decided to ditch him through the trip and head back home for school. Ian adventured to many places and when he hit the small island nation of Mauritius in the Indian Ocean, he stayed with two women. One night they went diving for lobster and Ian got stung by five deadly jellyfish. By the time an ambulance arrived his body was totally paralyzed and necrosis had begun to set into his bone marrow. On route to the hospital, Ian began to see his life flash before him. At this point in his life he was an atheist and he wasn’t sure what death would bring. As he lay there dying, he saw his mother in a vision praying for him, encouraging him to cry out to God from his heart so that He would hear and forgive him. After being taken to the hospital, Ian died for approximately 15 – 20 minutes and had an extraordinary near-death experience. He prayed to God and asked for forgiveness and God forgave him, allowing Ian to wake up and become alive again. After he had died and then came back to life, he began to believe in God. Him and God became closer and he started to believe in him.

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Overall, the revive retreat was really good. It taught me a few things and the speeches that the leaders gave were very inspirational. My favorite part of the retreat was how they got us pumped up and involved in activities. They were a very good group of leaders who really entertained us the whole afternoon. I’m glad I got to be apart of this amazing opportunity.

 

Qualities of Friendship

Friendship is a huge part of your life and who you are. In a friendship, a healthy relationship between you and your friend(s) is very important. In life you will encounter numerous amounts of different people each having different characteristics. For a good friendship to happen,you need to be able to develop certain characteristics with your friend(s). A few characteristics that might be looked in for a friend is to be:

Honest
– In a friendship, the key factor is honesty. Everyday as you communicate within your friendship, being honest will result in a successful relationship. You need to feel that bond where you feel that there is mutual trust between one another. If that bond is not evident then that is when your friendship starts to become unhealthy. An unhealthy relationship between each other is not fun nor loyal. When you lie to your friend(s), it might get harder and harder for you to have that loyal bond. Finally honesty is the best characteristic to have between you and your friend(s).

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Supportive
– Being supportive of one another is essential in a friendship. You need to support them in every choice or decision they make through their life. If they make a bad decision and regret it, you should be there to help them along the way through that hard time. You need to have their back and be supportive with them 100%. That is another characteristic of a healthy friendship. They need your support and that they can trust you to be along their side.

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Understanding
– Within your friendship, you as a friend, should be understanding. Numerous amounts of people need in their life a friend(s) that are understanding towards them. Being an understanding friend means that you care about your friend(s) and what is happening or going on for them. To feel understanding for your friend(s), is almost like being supportive except the fact that you need to be their and understand their problems. They may need your help with a family situation or even a problem they are facing. It is your duty as a friend to understand and help them cope through it.

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Good listener
– As well as being an understanding friend, you need to be a good listener as well. If you are an understanding person to your friend, a characteristic to that is to be a good listener. You need to listen to what they have to say and maybe offer some advice because maybe that’s all they need at that time. There’s a saying that goes “treat others how you would like to be treated”. If you are a good listener to your friends problems, in return, they will be a good listener to your problems when you need someone. This is a great characteristic to have to create and keep a healthy relationship between one another.

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All of these qualities is what I personally look for in a friend and I find them all important. I feel happiest when I surround myself with people who have these qualities. Without these characteristics, I don’t feel fulfilled with my relationships. I feel that a healthy friendship is how a friendship should be. You should always be honest, supportive, understanding and a good listener within your friendship.

If we could see inside others’ hearts …

In my visual, there is a quote “don’t judge a book by its cover“. This quote is an inspiring quote because it shows that you should never judge someone based on their insecurities. The rest of the visual is showing that even though all those people look like there is nothing wrong with them, there is emotion going on inside. For example, the one girl is waiting for a new heart but she is not showing that she is in need. If we all take a minute to realize that numerous amounts of people may be hurting inside but if we say something rude to them, you might just make it worse.

How to create a “shared human experience?

How do we create a “shared human experience“? When we hear  a shared experience we automatically think it’s seeing, hearing, or doing the same thing as someone else. If you thought that then you are right.  Although it’s a simple concept, shared experiences have a deep impact on human socialization because they enhance each person’s individual experience.

A study was recently done in Yale University and it was observed that when two people ate the same piece of chocolate,  and they each described it as more flavorful and enjoyable than either of them did. When one of the person was eating the chocolate and the other person was doing something else. Whether it’s eating food, seeing a TV show, or rooting for a sports team, sharing an experience with others makes an experience more enjoyable for us humans. It has an impact of how us as humans create a shared human experience.

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In the video we watched , it stated many points about creating a “shared human experience”.

Empathy is an act of attempt to understand another person’s perspective, their emotions, and in essence their reality. To fully understand what the word empathy is, you need to put yourself in their shoes and think “how are they feeling by this” or “how is this impacting their life”. Putting yourself in someone else’s shoes make you realize that maybe they are hurting inside or what you are saying to them are hurting them. It is important you understand what empathy is because if you are having a bad day, possibly your friend might put themselves in your shoes and feel your pain and help you.

Here is a neat article if you have time to read. https://www.nytimes.com/2015/07/12/opinion/sunday/empathy-is-actually-a-choice.html

As humans, empathy is crucial to our personal development, our relationships, and our society itself in which we make the effort to try and experience other people’s realities as well as our own realities too. This practice is done through empathy. Since us as humans have personal as well as emotional states, if one thing is done wrong when showing empathy, it could ruin our way of living and how we show empathy to others. Whenever a person shows empathy to us, we feel empathy for them as well. In my opinion that is a way of our brain saying thank-you. 

We are like social animals in this world. Our ability to communicate and understand each others emotional states is key to maintaining our relationships. To have a good relationship with a friend, you need to feel what they feel and you need to communicate what you are feeling too. Good friends never keeps anything from each other and always has a honest relationship. That relationship always has a positive impact on everyone in your friend group and people around you. This way of making a healthy relationship will show other people what kind of a person you are. 

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The ability to empathize is hardwired directly into our brains. One main area of the brain that assists in this process is in their right supramarginal gyrus. This part of the brain helps us to distinguish our own emotional state from that of another person and plays a key role in our ability to observe and assess what other people are experiencing. Empathy is a good ability to have as a person because it shows what kind of person you are in the world. Numerous amounts of people think you need  special abilities to be empathetic but all you need is to put yourself in the position that they are in. 

When you are in a fiery conversation with someone, you tend to quickly respond without letting the other person finish what they are saying. Slow don’t, and don’t rush to reply. Let the person finish what they want to say, and maybe it will change your reply. Take a moment to consider the other person’s statement. If you don’t understand what they are saying ask follow up questions to better understand. Never leave a conversation unfinished as it is not a healthy relationship to have. Additionally, allow the other person to finish speaking and do not interrupt. 

One way of being empathetic is to be observant of others, we tend to spend the majority of our day dwelling on our cellphones and  caught up in our own daily routines and digital distractions of ME ME ME ME.  If we take the time to observe others around us, it is a first step in developing our empathy. Watch and wonder or focus on the person’s state of being rather than categorizing, or labeling them. You may ask yourself what kind of day are they having? How are they feeling? Curiosity is the number one step to expanding your empathy. Acting curious about how others are doing will allow you to develop a better understanding of empathy. 

Dream List

Motivation is an impulse or action that drives you and others to act in a way that you accomplish goals. When Keri had come in she showed us a Mark Shake-n-bake about being motivated. In the film, Mark had talked about “how can I motivate you, if you can’t motivate yourself?” Mark meant that if you have no motivation in yourself and don’t believe in your own personal being, how can someone else motivate you if you don’t try. Making yourself motivated means not giving up on yourself and taking things to the next level to accomplish goals. Your parents, teachers, friends all want to motivate you but if you can’t accept that you don’t want to try then what’s the point of someone else motivating you.

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Another topic that Mark was talking about that when he dies he would like these 3 things on his gravestone. These three things are important to someone because this is what motivates Mark as he wants to be these three things. A loving father, a devoted father and teacher. He had explained that he is not a motivational speaker but a teacher. What he meant by that was he doesn’t classify himself as a motivational speaker but more or a teacher. He gives motivational talks to people but he isn’t a motivational speaker. He is a teacher because he teaches people the key things in life that you need to know.  It helps numerous amounts of people get through life knowing what things they can do to be successful. In my opinion Mark is a teacher because in all his videos he teaches me an important key to my life.

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Richard Simmons and Jamie Clark are motivational people to me. Richard Simmons is a motivational instructor who created many weight loss videos. A few of his videos are Dancing with the oldies, sweating with the oldies and countless more videos. He motivates people to get up and exercise and have fun! Richard says “Number one, love yourself. Have a lot of self worth. This quote speaks to me through motivation. If you don’t love yourself and have self worth then why should you try motivate you. Jamie Clark is Canadian adventurer, author, film maker, actor and public speaker. Jamie has climbed to the top of mount Everest twice. In my belief, he is a motivator because climbing mount Everest twice takes quite a bit of motivation. If people don’t see that he is a motivator, well let’s be honest. He is an inspiration to people. Everything he has done shows people that don’t give up. If your brain tells you to give up, that’s another reason to try harder. Jamie quotes “like the phoenix, I rise to new heights, with a beautiful new perspective. I’m ready to live life”. This quote inspires me to reach new heights and never give up even if it challenges me to an extreme level.

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I’ve heard quite a few motivational speeches in my life time and each one of them inspired me to be motivated in life. All the motivational speeches I have heard all have the same topic. MOTIVATION. When every person hears a speech about motivation, they all leave with the same question. “How can I continue to motivate myself”? Well the answer to that question is whenever in life, try actions to the top most extreme level and never give up. Motivation is a key factor when going through life as a kid. When something challenging comes in your way, keep striving for the best. A little motivational quote that I thought of is “Keep trying to climb the tallest mountain and when you reach the top celebrate”.

 

In Mark’s speech he had stated that“Some people think we shouldn’t even play the game?” In my own personal words, we should always try and strive to achieve what we believe even if people reflect that we aren’t good enough. In life, there are going to be numerous amounts of people that will tell us to not try but to quit. If you personally want to believe that you can, but if someone told me that I would try even harder to prove them wrong. Everyone in this world is different and are better at certain things than others. No one can judge you or tell you that you shouldn’t do that because it is our motivation that pushes us to accomplish goals.

 

 

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