One of the best indications I ever got of the impact I was making was a couple summers ago when I volunteered as a Patriot Leader for freshman and transfer orientation. We were finishing our week-long summer training and it was tradition to take part in an activity called "Touch Someone." How it works is everyone sits around a circle with the chairs facing outward and their eyes closed. You can only open your eyes if you are chosen to enter the circle, and if you are (everyone had a chance), you touch someone on the shoulder if something the announcer said applied to that person. "Touch someone who always smells nice" or "Touch someone who has been a good friend" were options called out, among others, as inspirational songs played in the background. Yes, it may sound a little cheesy, but it's a brilliant way to demonstrate that people really are good at heart. I'm a firm believer in that.
Anyway, when I heard, "Touch someone who said the right thing to you at a time when you needed it most," I thought I've never done that. Surely no one will touch my shoulder. But much to my surprise, someone did. I'm not a big crier, but I must admit that touch opened the floodgate of my tears. To think that my words of encouragement, or maybe just words of endearment, meant that much to someone was heartwarming, to say the least. What's even more beautiful is that I will never know who that person was. It could have been any number of my fellow Patriot Leaders and that still gives me chills to this day. Just imagine the number of people you encounter who never mention that you have impacted their life in such a way that is unforgettable. That's what makes me tick. If I consciously make an effort to be a beacon of hope, to leave this world better than when I entered it, I figure my impact will be eternal. That's really the honest-to-God reason I want to be Miss Virginia and Miss America.
What I love about the Miss America Organization is that we are all young women seeking to make this world a better place. We set aside our pride and ulterior motives for the greater good of our communities. One of my favorite quotes is, "Let us endeavor so to live that when we come to die, even the undertaker will be sorry." That is what we seek to do, and I am so proud to be a member of the Miss Virginia Class of 2012. This past weekend we all gathered together in Roanoke for Workshop and I can say that I am impressed by and see Miss Virginia in each of my lovely sisters. I wouldn't trade these experiences for the world.
Someday when my eulogy is given for real, I hope the contributions I have made to society don't stray much from the ones I intend to make. If they do, I hope they far exceed my wildest dreams.
|Miss Virginia Class of 2012|