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A Chain Reaction

Author : Sandi Valentine

Submitted : 2009-10-15 19:03:46    Word Count : 1176    Popularity:   73

Tags:   Kindness Award for Student of the Year, Acts of Kindness Association, National Education Association, Rachel’s Challenge, Friend of Education Award, Rachel Adams, Columbine, Colorado, outcasts, Columbine High School, Friends of Rachel, make a difference

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17-year-old Rachel Scott was laughing and eating lunch with a friend on the lawn of her Colorado high school. Life was good. She dreamed of acting and drama, of growing up and changing the world one act of kindness at a time. She smiled to herself as she remembered what she’d written in her diary – about her belief in kindness – it was one of the pivotal points of her life. She was confident in her big plans for her future and in the difference she could make through her acting.

Enjoying the company of her friends that day Rachel had no idea that it would be a day of terror. . .

Rachel was the first of 15 people killed in the now infamous shootings at Columbine High School. But because she died believing in the world-changing power of kindness. . . the entire world now knows. A school essay she wrote contains this comment. . . “I have this theory that if one person can go out of their way to show compassion then it will start a chain reaction of the same.”

Rachel’s family understands her loss will be with them forever. However, they are not suffering in silence and neither have they let her death be in vain. Having established Friends of Rachel's clubs and Rachel's Challenge, her family regularly speaks to communities across the United States of America about teen suicide, violence and bullying. Their quest for peace has touched the lives of thousands as many people want to find ways to heal their inner wounds.

As a young woman, Rachel had only begun to live. But she lived a life of staggering faith, maturity and with a vast desire to make a difference. Her diaries attest to the fact that she lived her life with her whole heart. Not afraid to be kind and inclusive, Rachel spoke with tenacity and courage regarding her positive outlook on life. Her spiritual and sensitive nature angered her teen killers who were jealous and resentful of her charm.

Unfortunately, they could have had what she knew. . . that the world could be changed by a willingness to practice compassion. Unfortunately, their hearts refused her kindness.

No one knows exactly what went on in their minds on that fateful day. But one thing remains a lasting testimony to Rachel Joy Scott -- the world now embraces her brief life as a perfect example of compassion and humanity. Given posthumously, Rachel received the Kindness Award for Student of the Year by the Acts of Kindness Association, and the National Education Association awarded her father and "Rachel’s Challenge" the Friend of Education Award.

No teen should die such a horrific death. Yet those of us who witnessed this tragedy from afar can prevent her death and other deaths similar to Rachel's from being only tragedies.

My hope for you today is that you will not just grieve over the senselessness of the world today but that you will glean insight and conviction from the life of Rachel Scott. Be the person to make a difference in your world. Be the one who believes like she did, that one person's actions can create a chain reaction that will change the world.

In Rachel's honor, we can believe in the worth of people. We can reach out a hand of friendship to those around us. We can take time to listen. No one has to live life alone as an outcast if we take up the challenge of Rachel - to live a life of compassion with one hand on our heart and the other hand outstretched to the person next to us.

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Ginny Dye, Sandi Valentine & Suess Karlsson are a team of writers who all share a passion to empower and motivate everyone who they touch through their writing. Their stories are a gift to the world! Learn how to create the success you dream of, overcome obstacles and challenges, and live a life of grace and love. Please visit us at http://www.firefliesfortheheart.com

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