Sunday, August 14, 2011

Guest Post from Elizabeth Horner - Annie's 151st Birthday

August 13, 2011 --- Today is Annie Oakley’s 151st birth anniversary. I dedicate this article in her honor.

Growing up, I had this collection of books featuring the childhood of famous Americans. The characters described in those books were like my friends---George Washington, Thomas Edison, Walt Disney, and yes, Annie Oakley and so many others, became remarkable in my eyes, not because of what they accomplished as adults, but rather, how they were portrayed as kids. Curious, determined, they learned to overcome adversities in life in a positive way, applying their inner skills and talents. Indeed, they were great stories of courage and perseverance.

It may be hard to imagine sometimes that these young people destined to be President of the United States or the Wizard of Menlo Park, or world renowned star of the Buffalo Bill’s Wild West, had their fair share of scraped knees, insecurities, arguments with adults and hardships or harsh conditions to overcome ---JUST LIKE YOU AND ME!

A lot of times Moms and Dads tell us “you can be anything you want to be darling” and we nod our heads, though not really believing it. It is time to break through that mindset. At the same time, some kids may have dreams that some adults or peers may reject or dispense of it as something far-fetched. I believe that given the opportunity to discover our inner skills and talents and given the right motivation, and support --- any one of us could become the next subject of a biography!

My generation will be responsible for filling the vacancies left by our predecessors---The great doctors, lawyers, singers, writers, and even President of the United States! I hope that we do it admirably. I believe that it is humanity’s natural instinct to be constantly churning out new stars that will push the boundaries of impossibility farther and farther back. Each new group becomes the hope for the future because they will have the chance to learn from the lessons of the past --- to shape a fairer, safer, and better world.

On August 27, I will be heading to Chicago. In connection with this event, I researched about another great person, Dr. Jose Rizal who is the Philippine National Hero who often spoke of the youth as the hope of the future. Dr. Rizal used the “power of the pen” from a very young age until his death to promote social justice. In accepting an award that commemorates his 150th birth anniversary, I take with it the responsibility to promote his chosen virtues.

This is not a doctrine for one person, one group, or even one generation to live by. It is meant to be passed on and shared with generations to come. I promise to do my part, and my very best to be a positive force in this world. Undoubtedly, being human I will make some mistakes but like Annie said, only “practice, practice, practice” --- of doing your very best and learning to overcome mistakes, obstacles and failures in life, that will make you “hit the bull’s eye of success”!

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