Cassie Eckert - Grade 8, Bishop Leibold School - East Campus
The Jungle of Life
Growing up in modern society is like searching for food in a jungle. So many delicacies could satisfy our needs, but so many toxic weeds could destroy us.
Creatures are seen feasting on certain plants. However, a single bite from that same plant could cause our demise. The weeds in the jungle of life are things like too much TV, smoking, sex, drugs, or junk food. They seem great, like they could somehow satisfy us. We see creatures feasting on these weeds, which symbolize our peers and media pressuring us to allow wanton desire and excess. So how can we navigate this jungle, digging through weeds and peer pressure, to find the nourishment which will produce true inner happiness? If you were stranded in the middle of the jungle, more necessary than food, water, or shelter would be a guide. Someone who has been there and can assist you, encourage you, and, most importantly, teach you. We have those in life, too.
My parents always stress the significance of avoiding the toxic weeds that will ultimately hinder me. Even when I rebel and nibble, they are always there to nurse me back to moral and spiritual health. It's a fact that they'll be a reliable shelter from the world's horrors, but I also have aides outside their haven.
My friends are deep wells of support. In conflict and doubt, they provide clarity and vanquish indecision. Although parents are likely wiser, friends exceed in empathy and approachability. With these guides’ help, I am successfully navigating the jungle, but am also prospering. Outside of avoiding the destructive pressures of society, I have formed and started moving toward attaining goals for my life. Every day, I trudge through an arduous school day, an excruciating swim practice, and more irksome homework. I used to believe these chores taxing, but now view them as daily challenges.
This perspective switch came in 5th grade. I was frankly lazy, buying into media’s poison. My grades started to slip, and I was extremely disappointed, despite “hating school” and “not caring about grades”. I was also lagging at swim practice. I couldn’t understand why I was degenerating despite still going through the motions. But, that was all I was doing- my actions lacked heart and drive. With my trusty guides’ help, I astoundedly discerned the issue. Re-energized, my grades soared and I began swimming faster. Three years later, I still push myself in everyday challenges.
Now, I get straight A's and swim up an age group. It's a little ludicrous how a few slips lead me to where I am today. I’m glad I was stubborn enough not to slip into the black hole society has created. I have goals for my future, like keeping my grades up and swimming even faster. Personally, I think I have done pretty well at sorting through the jungle of life. I never could've gotten this far without the tiny nudges or giant shoves from my remarkable guides. I'm eternally grateful for them.