The Book That Taught Me Who I Am

When I was younger, I loved to just wander around book stores and pick a random one to buy. I found one when I was about fourteen titled “I Am the Messenger” by Markus Zusak. It intrigued me. The main character was sort of a loser, do-nothing kind of guy, yet he was incredibly kind to people. In the story, he begins getting playing cards in the mail with addresses of people he must help on them. If he doesn’t help them, whoever is sending the cards will kill him. While this is pretty upsetting, the main character owns up to the challenge. He not only does what he has to to assist the people he must, but continues to help them, going out of his way to create relationships with them. He does this not to save his life, but just because he wants to. I always found that to be a beautiful thing.
It made me realize how small acts of kindness really can make someone happy, and encourage them to do small acts themselves. We can all make someone’s day a little easier or brighter. It made me look at people differently, appreciating people and their efforts and differences even more.
Ever since I was little I’ve volunteered in my community, first starting with working at my church’s homeless shelter, then soup kitchens, and now the Foodbank every other weekend. I always loved helping people, meeting new people, and providing for my peers. It wasn’t until after reading this book that I realized that I wanted to do that my whole life, as a career. I decided soon to go into Social Work.
Social Workers do acts of kindness for a living. They are paid to give their time to the community, supporting our most in need citizens. They work to provide equity for our nation. They’re the ones advocating for the voiceless, housing the homeless, feeding the hungry. Although they don’t make a lot of money, they do so much, no thanks asked. There is almost nothing a social worker can’t or doesn’t do.
I plan to go to school to achieve my Bachelor’s in Social Work. I want to become a caseworker, working predominantly with the homeless and hungry communities. I plan to become a certified substance abuse counselor as well, to be able to better support my future clients. Thinking of my future and what I want to accomplish excites me so! I am continuing to volunteer and get my experience up during my senior year, but I really can’t wait for college.
I do believe that I would have decided to be a social worker regardless of finding “I Am the Messenger”, but the story changed my life nonetheless. I believe it would have taken me much longer to find my passion, and the importance of my passion. It taught me that we all can change someone’s life for the better, and that everyone is capable of good.
I truly believe that book was waiting for me that day. My future was waiting for me to find it.

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