Have you ever wonder how just one simple word, phrase or action that you commit could impact another’s life with powerful significance? Whatever action you display, positive or negative, the impact is more influential than a conglomerate of us realize. There are various leaders, activists, scientific figures and even personal companions that have impacted not just us, but the society and world that we live in today. The importance of these individuals is that the one action could save one’s and ultimately modify their life. In a tumult planet with disastrous issues and sadness, there are many of us that need a shoulder to cry on, a hand to hold, or another voice to converse with. With my family there have been occasions where we would receive a helping hand. I’ve learned to live by this example when I was deep in the dark and needed a miniscule flicker to save me.

The year was 2006 and I was nervous but also ecstatic of the start of a new school year. I was one of the fresh faces that would walk the halls in St. Mary’s Elementary and just like a creature out of its familiar environment, I felt like I was infiltrating into unchartered territory of those who knew each other since pre-K. Despite being on the introverted spectrum of personality, I knew that I wanted to “fit in” with the other classmates and possibly become friends. During the first day, with the usual introductions of what’s-your names, what’s your favorite-hobbies, I felt that I broke the ice with my counterparts with having mutual song and television interests. Yet, after that day, it seemed that the mutuality ceased to exist when I was ignored or even sneered at. Speaking with my mother about the situation, she spoke saying to not worry of disinterested persons and invest in those that want to converse. Unfortunately, the investees didn’t seem to be the most interested of me; there were even individuals that showed disfavor.

Eating lunch in the midday, being separated from the other female students, the molding of being an outcast was already shaping my persona. Suddenly, one of the female students came in front of me and spoke: “They think you’re ugly and fat”, while pointing to three blonde friends who looked dissimilar, but still gave the same cold and demeaning glare, snickering of my reaction to the detrimental insult. Listening to this type of comment, I knew that when I permeated into the territory, the habitants were not welcoming with open arms. As the school years persisted into eight grade year, the cold stares and verbal bullying basically broke my self- esteem and worth, scooting me deeper and deeper into the corner of my dark room. In that period in my life, I felt alone, inferior to my classmates and felt unconnected and indifferent when explaining the situation with my parents. My downtrodden feelings kept me in my darkness, sulking in my sorrows and even being suicidal, wondering when I would I have a flicker of hope. Fortunately, due to God’s grace, my light discovered me.

Towards the fall of seventh grade, I was completely torn by the constant bullying and wondered if I could endure anymore of my own classmates’ glaring and slandering. There would be days when I would cry and fear going to school due to the browbeating, especially since either no one was considering taking my side or they simply did not care. Yet, Amaji cared. Amaji, even though being a grade ahead, she was a blunt soul who had an honest and warmhearted aura about her. When she saw that I was dejected, she would converse and brighten my darkness, encouraging me that I can make through my storm. With the light that Amaji had shown towards me, she brought me hope and gave me strength and enlightenment. Even after she graduated, I kept her words in my heart; giving me strength all the way to eighth grade graduation. Graduating I became very appreciative of Amaji because not only did she provide advice, but she became a boost for my resilience. Her light crept into my dark room and proffered assurance.

Because of this significant individual, I was able to conquer my darkness and found the strength during my dismal period. From Amaji’s example, I set a goal for myself to be a light in one’s dark room and give encouragement in the face of adversity. Besides the jovial holidays of having the mindset of giving, endeavor into being someone’s light every day; you’ll be amazed by the impact of making their day brighter.

nnekaNneka Bonner is a second year Psychology major and Gender Studies minor from Cincinnati, Ohio. She is grateful for being given the opportunity to write for the Advent Series.