Tonight I sit here on my friend's carpeted floor doing what I do best, surf the internet instead of studying for my final tomorrow. Maybe if I hadn't been distracted by Miley's birthday cake I would actually be getting work done. And yes, that would be Miley Cyrus. Today is her 17th birthday and if it wasn't for my friend Hayley I wouldn't have this ridiculously expensive cake. Normally I wouldn't even fathom buying a cake for someone I have little respect for, but when you have $24 to spend at the market, and you're leaving the next day, any reason to buy a $15 cake seems automatically worth it. So maybe instead of it being a cake to celebrate the day Destiny Hope Cyrus was born, it can be to celebrate the fact that tomorrow I am going home! That is correct my friends, tomorrow after my final exam at 10:10 I will be stuffing my mom's car, yet again, to travel back to Hudson.
Okay, that's all besides point.
So while I sit here, not studying, I enjoy the hilarity comedy styles of the amazing Ellen DeGeneres. Listening to her I can't help but think how much Ellen makes the world such a happier place. She brings such joy to the world with her stand up bits and her daily talk show. But not only does she have an incredible talent to make people laugh, but her general kindness and open minded spirit is plain and simply just another great person to help influence others to be just as open and kind. She inspires people to better themselves and in term better the world.
So that got me thinking about all the great people in the world. Sure there are the people who first come to mind when you think about greatness. People like Martin Luther King Junior, Mother Teresa, Mahatma Gandhi, Abraham Lincoln, Alexander Graham Bell, Albert Einstein, and Jonas Salk, all of which have had some of the most positive affects on history. But what about the other kings of greatness? The ones that didn't necessarily fight for peace, or discover a scientific breakthrough, but the ones who are great purely for their existence.
So here is my tribute to all the people who I think are great:
Starting with Ellen DeGeneres. She creates laughter. Have you ever looked back to your childhood and thought about how much you used to laugh? Everything was funny, the bugs on the ground, your aunt's mystery hair color, a chalk outline of your best friend, or the way spaghetti sounded when you slurped in an individual strand of pasta. But now you have other things to worry about like losing your job, infectious diseases, pointless wars, relationships failing, finances falling and any other mental problems each one of us possesses. Yet somehow, through all of the hardship, listening to Ellen's stand up or TV shows allows us to step back from the struggle and laugh again. But she does so much more than make hopefuls laugh. She is a leader of example just by being so loving towards everyone. Her open mindedness is nothing less than inspirational and contagious. The world be a much better place if more people could be like Ellen DeGeneres.
Matthew Shepard. For those of you who don't know Matthew's tragic story, it had one of the largest affects on hate crime awareness to date. In 1998 the 21 year old ,University of Wyoming student, was horrifically murdered by two other boys. They lead him to a remote rural area and tied him to a fence post after brutally beating him. They left him there to die and 18 hours later he was discovered in a coma. His body was taken to the hospital but he only survived a few more days. Matthew Shepard died because two ignorant, hateful, bigoted boys didn't like the fact that he was gay. The hate crime toward Matthew, that occurred on October 7th, 1998, spawned an outburst from all gay rights activist. It was shortly later that the Matthew Shepard foundation was formed and shortly after that the Matthew Shepard Act was created. Both fight for the termination of hate crime. His death was not one of few, hate crime happens more than most people think but now people know, know to fight. Though we lost a great person that night, we gained so much awareness. The Matthew Shepard Act and Foundation are constantly working to stop hate crimes and open the minds of the hateful. Matthew Shepard will not have died in vain.
Greatness is so much more than bettering man kind, or making people laugh. It can simply be from creating happiness. I would consider Walt Disney to be one of the greatest men to ever walk this earth. What kind of childhood would a person have if it wasn't filled with the magic of Disney? Disney inspires children to reach for their dreams, have an imagination, and believe that anything is possible. Just think about every movie, every song, every vacation, everything you have ever experienced that was created by Disney. So many of my favorite memories were formed from the magic of Disney. In fact my very first memory happened at Disneyland when I was only a year and half old. My family and I were sitting in a green boat in a green tunnel on the ride It's a Small World After All. I vaguely remember the puppets, but the repetitive song will stay with me forever. It's was movies like Beauty and the Beast, Pochantas, Lion King, and The Jungle Book that first got me hooked on the big castle. Walt Disney, without a doubt, inspired more happiness, creativity, and hope than anyone else. He is a true hero to every child, teenager and adult.
Joanne Kathleen Rowling is by far my most favorite author! I don't even know where to begin talking about Harry Potter. Her books haven't just touched me but the entire planet. The magical world she wrote up, with an extraordinary boy as the hero, has turned into the biggest phenomenon to hit the literary world. Not only did Harry Potter get kids reading, but it got kids to love reading (something television has been trying to do for years). The magical world gave an escape to any child going through hardship, but you certainly don't need to struggle to enjoy it. Harry Potter is one of the few series that is appreciated by all ages, genders and lifestyles. Harry Potter changed my life and I have to thank my grandparents for giving me and my brother the first book. My parents got divorced right about the time The Philosopher's Stone came out. My mom went out and bought a king sized bed for herself, and every night me and my brother would climb in it so she could read a chapter each night to us. Our nightly ritual brought us 3 together and helped me get over my parents separation. We enjoyed my mother's interpretations of Rowling's made up magical words for the first 3 of the seven books. Afterwards we joined the HP madness in anticipation for each of the last 4 releases. Now that the final epilogue has been read, we look forward to the midnight premiers of each movie. There is something so great about knowing that you are not the only person who is so wildly obsessed with a fictional character enough that you would paint a scar on your forehead and go to movie that begins at midnight. And even though there only remains one more book to be brought to the big screen, we have double the merriment of it being split into two fantastic suspenseful movies. J.K. Rowling is possibly the greatest person in my life. And even though I don't know her (that would be awesome) I feel like I do. She is the reason I have friends. I know that sounds completely utterly ridiculous, but when I read and reread her books I feel like I'm spending time with friends instead of actually reading. It may seem silly to call these characters my close personal friends, but they have been with me through the good times and bad. I know their personalities, histories, likes and dislikes. Each one of them is more than just a character in a book, but a friend to all. Okay... so besides sounding like a huge Harry Potter dork I do have a point to make. Most everyone has a story about the way HP changed their life for the better. Rowling created this fictional world that has made the real world go crazy... in a good way. She is the ultimate greatness for magically coming up with Harry Potter, the boy who not only saved the Wizarding World, but shed some light and happiness to the real world.
This may not be my greatest writing or witticism, but I felt a need to give credit to the people I find truly Great. These 4 people have provided me with so much strength, laughter and happiness that I needed to say something. They are 4 great spirits who should be treated as such. There are many many more people who are just as great; who do you think are some of the other non-typical great powers in our world?