By Jamie Lim
If life were a sunflower field, each sunflower would be different—its radiant glow and rare fragrance producing beauty that it alone can cultivate. Like the numerous sunflowers, every person has his own special gift that is waiting to be unearthed and to bloom into something truly magnificent. And like the sunflowers, people experience setbacks and weaknesses. However, just because a particular flower lacks the height of its companions or carries a few shriveled petals does not mean that it has fallen from its state of beauty and deserves to be wrenched from the ground. If given the chance, that sunflower may sprout more petals or yield the most seeds. Similarly in life, no person’s human dignity can ever be taken away; everyone has a calling, a purpose that is unique to him. Everyone is entitled to have a chance to live a meaningful life. To be unconditionally pro-life means respecting and loving all people and God—through our actions and words, and in our thoughts.
It is said that actions speak louder than words. One’s actions can affect others deeply, good or bad. Being actively pro-life means aiming to protect innocent preborn babies, striving to show everyone that all lives matter, and actually living out these moral ethics. Joining pro-life organizations, representing those who have no voice, and donating generously to pro-life charities are ways to support the growth of life. One must remember that in a world saturated by personal glory and fame, even the most seemingly insignificant acts of love are important and can touch the hearts of those who seek them. In the past, I have handed out baby bottles after Mass as part of a pro-life campaign. With each bottle I distributed, I thought about all those babies and their mothers whom I was helping, and I could feel God’s light radiating from me. People who are undoubtedly pro-life should spend their lives allowing God’s light to shine through them. At school, simply stopping to help someone gather their books off the floor or being mindful that all students’ voices should be heard demonstrates one’s service and dedication to helping others. It is important to remember that one’s reason of displaying kindness holds just as much weight as the kindness that is shown. If someone chooses to exhibit compassion only because he wishes to gain attention or praise, then his actions have lost truth. A genuine act of love should come not only from inside the heart, but from deep within the soul. Actions truly have strong voices, and I know that I want mine to have melodious voices whose harmonies are able to reach the hearts of other people.
Words can be sweeter and more golden than honey, but they can also be harsh, sharp as a sword, piercing a person through his heart. One’s words can define him, revealing his true colors whether he realizes it or not. If someone is pro-life, his words should speak of kindness, love, and a true longing for the best for others. A way to demonstrate the power of words is through speeches that inspire others to support life, especially life that is innocent yet endangered. In everyday life, one word can make someone’s day bright. Offer those who are anguished a few words of encouragement, those who are frightened a word of safety, and those who are wrapped in sorrow a word of understanding. One of my friends was seeking advice from me, and instead of taking part in an exciting game of kickball, I decided to set aside this time to talk with her. It was obvious that talking with my friend made us both feel good. Still, it is important to keep in mind that one’s words have no meaning unless they speak of truth. One should understand that seeking admiration from others instead of actually wishing the best for somebody takes the beauty away from even the most well said words. This world can be dark, but one’s voice can be the light that others are looking for and that others need to guide them away from despair. One’s voice can be a light that forever burns in the hearts of others after being lit.
Words and actions directly affect others, whether in ways that benefit people or attempt to bring them down. However, thoughts play an important role in life, too. A person who is pro-life will not cause pain in others. His thoughts will be pure, unblemished, and reflected completely in words and actions. People tend to be truest in their minds because nobody else is able to hear their thoughts. They forget that though they are able to hide secrets deep inside their hearts, God knows and will always know what is hidden. A mindset that supports all life includes hoping for the best for everyone, even those who stand as hindrances and try to block one from achieving his goal. During competitions that I participate in, I tell others the two simple words: “Good luck.” My words are truly the luster of my thoughts. Though I have the drive to win, I do not wish harm on other contenders. Being pro-life means having compassionate thoughts toward others and not acting or saying something that is false and contradictory to this. Thoughts matter, for they are the root of people’s actions and words. It is in thoughts that an individual’s real motive is seen, so one must let his thoughts be a source of goodness.
Being pro-life is not limited to supporting the preborn babies who are in danger of abortion, though it is most commonly known for this. Pro-life means loving all life, all people who were created in the image and likeness of God, in thoughts and through actions and words. If one loves and respects others, he loves and respects God through them. A simple act of kindness, one word of love, or a short prayer for compassion can soothe and give comfort. Through the darkness and the pain, one must always remember to put others first and to seek not for attention, but for ways to better serve others like Jesus, who came down to Earth “not to be served but to serve.” I know that every day brings new opportunities to mirror Jesus. I can participate in food drives, donate my time and talent to charities, and find ways to advocate the rights of human beings even in the littlest things. When a classmate forgets to bring lunch, I can offer him some of mine. When I notice people being left out of discussions, people whose voices have been trampled on, I can speak up on their behalf and ensure that everyone is heard. In this world of anguish and despair, my thoughts, words, and actions can be mellifluous songs that are able to heal people’s pain, flames of hope that warm people’s souls, and powerful roots that have the capacity to bloom into a magnificent field of sunflowers deep in the hearts and lives of others.
Jamie Lim won first place in Category 2 of CLSP and IEW’s Pro-Life Essay Contest. Her inspiring essay and all of the other winners can be found at prolifeessay.com/.