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Congressional Record [.PDF]
IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
Thursday, April 22, 2004
2004 Ron Paul 29:1
Mr. PAUL. Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to enter into the CONGRESSIONAL RECORD the following essay by Miss Cassandra Tamez, a high school student who resides in my Congressional district. Miss Tamezs essay, entitled My Commitment to Americas Future, earned her a Voice of Democracy Scholarship award from the Veterans of Foreign Wars. I am very proud of Miss Tamezs efforts and I wish her well in her future endeavors.
2004 Ron Paul 29:2
(By Cassandra Tamez)
2004 Ron Paul 29:3
I think commitment is doing something, whether you have the ability to or not, and sticking with it. Commitment is following through every single day. Commitment is focusing solely on the one thing that you commit yourself to. Commitment is binding yourself to something. It is a pledge.
2004 Ron Paul 29:4
So with all this in mind I ask myself, what is my commitment to Americas future? Should I recycle or join a beautification committee to preserve America? Should I donate money to foundations that help kids? Or perhaps I could pledge my time to hospitals or nursing homes to help the sick people of America . . .
2004 Ron Paul 29:5
Most people would probably think that my efforts in any of these would make little difference. After all, I am only one person, a speck of sand on a beach. Recycling . . . Yes, collecting cans and glass bottles would be a Tremendous help. My mother recycles. I went with her one day to help her put all our old newspapers in the recycling bin. I started thinking. How many people are there in the world, billions? Out of all these people, how many recycle? I laughed to myself, probably not that many. My mom was definitely wasting her time.
2004 Ron Paul 29:6
Donating money . . . I am not rich. How could the amount of money that I give even help one person with cancer or in need of help? I have seen programs on T.V. that talk about saving the life of a child by just donating 88 cents a day. Then I began thinking about how much it costs for me to eat for just one day. I estimated that my food alone costs eight to fifteen dollars. How could a child survive on 88 cents a day? Is it possible?
2004 Ron Paul 29:7
Pledging my time . . . I used to do volunteer work in a nursing home. I would go there every day during the summer and try and help out however I could. However, I remember this one day that something really horrible happened. I was walking down the hall when all of a sudden this lady started screaming. I looked around, waiting for someone to come running and help her. I waited for about ten seconds, but no one came. I ran towards the nurses station to see if anyone was on their way. Three of them were just standing there. I knew they could hear the woman screaming . . . I wanted to tell them something, but was it my place? I returned to the woman screaming instead. As soon as I walked in the room she said, Help me, Honey. Please, its my leg. I need to move it. I moved forward to help her, but then I hesitated. What if her legs were not supposed to be moved? Could I hurt her if I moved them? By this time I was getting frantic. I told her I would go get someone to help and ran out. I took five steps out the door, and a nurse was standing there, calmly writing on a piece of paper. Um, I think that lady needs some help, I told her. She looked up in annoyance and shouted to another nurse that she needed something for The Screamer. I stood there for a moment in shock. They acted as if this woman were just a nuisance. At that moment I felt hatred; clearly that woman was in pain. I did not know what was wrong with her, and I could not help her. There was no point in my being there.
2004 Ron Paul 29:8
Taking all of my experiences into consideration, I think this is exactly how many other people think; they feel helpless and insignificant. They feel too small to make any real difference in the world. And then I came across this poem by Edward Everette Hale. He said,
2004 Ron Paul 29:9
I am only one,
But still I am one.
I cannot do everything
But still I can do something.
And because I cannot do everything
I will not refuse to do
The something that I can do.
2004 Ron Paul 29:10
I have to admit that this poem has inspired me. Because even though I am but one speck of sand on a beach, I know that I am a solid and firm speck, and that there are other specs like me that compose the sand. I am one of many who may carry the optimistic attitude of commitment to America. Once again, I think back to my efforts of recycling, donating money, and pledging my time, and realize that they were not futile efforts at all. When I recycled, I know it was probably only thirty newspapers out of trillions in the world, but what if I recycled once a month? That would be 360 newspapers a year for a lifetime. I might save a beautiful tree or even more. As for donating money, well 88 cents a day from me might not feed a child, but if only nine more people in my state donate 88 cents, then that child has a total of $8.80, my estimate of money needed for a day. Now, as far as pledging my time goes, I do not think my time spent in the nursing home was a complete waste. I did help one patient who was in pain.
2004 Ron Paul 29:11
So once again, what is my commitment to Americas future? My commitment is to play to my strengths. My commitment is to do my best. Like the patriotic commercials on television say, We, the children, are Americas future, and every bit we can do helps.