Tennant Ross

2013-2014 Live Deliberately Essay Contest

Tennant+RossTennant Ross, 16
Honorable Mention, 16-17 Age Group
Keystone School
Marietta, Georgia

Centuries fly by the human race like dashes of golds in coast sunrises, and with each year slipping by us to no longer be committed to the human eye, but rather, a history book, humanity struggles with one lingering prompt: how does one man make a difference?

I have always lived firmly on the foundation that the shell of whom we are as humans is actually more resembling of a mosaic; small fractions and swirls of the world around us composed to one entity. We collect our mother’s love for brick homes, our best friend’s hatred for the flavor of mustard, and with these tiny pieces of others and our own inbred love of the way the sky is pale just after the sunset, we become something far greater than the simplicity of a human; we become entire universes inside of ourselves.  This infinite mass of colors of the sky and different laughs for different places is the key to making the difference by the will of only ourselves; we must access the universe of possibilities and perseverance inside ourselves.

As the poet Charles Bukowski once wrote, “My dear, find what you love and let it kill you.” You must find your passion, what every atom of your soul is dedicated to, and let it extract every piece of happiness you have and bring it to the very surface of your mosaic skin. This is how we make a difference. It is pessimistically and widely believed that one person is simply not enough to make a lasting difference on this earth, but this is wholly untrue. It is the ideas from the uniquely wired brains of singular individuals that bring about the change that makes one century so different from the one before. When one person dedicates their entire being to something great that they love completely- this is what makes a difference in this world. It may not feed every starving Ethiopian child, or liberate oppressed women in the Middle East, but the act of one human devoting their whole being to something they love is what makes a difference in this world.

Wasted potential is as common as black cats in today’s society, and the shimmering rarities of those who defy limits and expectations are the cornerstones of greatness on earth. One man makes a difference by devoting himself entirely to what he truly loves, and this purity and determination will diffuse into every aspect of life around him, making it beautiful and extraordinary. Greatness is not something that courses through our blood from birth; it is something we find inside of ourselves- what we find within the mismatched universe in each of us.