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Samantha's Simplicity


Blair DiVenuta

In today’s society there are many pressures and guidelines bombarding people. With so much being thrown at me at one time, I find it very challenging to enjoy life and to have moments of pure happiness. With so much to worry about, I tend to skip over the little things in life that had once made me smile as a child. While I understood less about life when I was younger, my naivety caused me to have time to see the simple things around me and to enjoy them.

My younger sister,  Samantha, was born with cerebral Palsy and is now essentially a child for life. She has the intellect of a two year old and many physical ailments. While most people look at her with pity in their eyes I wonder if she should be the one looking at them that way. She will most likely never move out of our home, get a job, or even get married. Yet all that means nothing to her, being that she does not even understand what any of that is. Samantha understands only what she can see and feel, and does not concern herself with the many outside pressures placed on society. Money means nothing to her nor does power; the most important people in her life are her Mom and Dad. The simple hug from her mother or smile from her father can make her day. She is content to watch her favorite Barney video or play with her favorite toy piano, without wishing she was somewhere else, doing something better, because this is all she knows. I can not think of the last time my Mother or Father’s small kind gestures have made my day or a time when I have been content to merely watch T.V. without wishing my life was more exciting.

When meeting new people I have never seen Samantha shy away, wondering if she was making a bad impression or hiding her true self to make sure she was accepted. Due to her sensory deprivation she loves to carry around garlic and sometimes onions. While this is considered strange to most people, she carries her garlic everywhere and will sit next to anyone holding this in her hand, ignoring the surprised and amused stares. And the funny thing is while people find this unusual at first they become used to this odd habit after a few moments.

I find myself often afraid if people saw some of the weird habits I myself have, they would then find me strange and not accept me, but watching people react to Samantha I realize that I have underestimated the human ability to adapt to any new environment. Whether she is wearing doctor gloves, a life vest, carrying around raw chicken, or screaming, “Pee Pee!” at the top of her lungs because she is scared, I have never seen one person dislike Samantha. Therefore maybe those pressures and guidelines weighing me down are not being imparted on me by society but by myself because I am afraid to step out of those lines and be who I truly am.

If I had one wish it would be to see the world through Samantha’s eyes for one day. Then maybe I could live a day where the simplicity of life had the ability to make me happy.

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