This is for stanford intellectual vitality essay
In the summer of 2008 I made a new friend. Her name was Olive and she was ninety-two years old.
I met Olive in a nursing facility when I was training to be a nursing assistant. She was first patient, and, as I would soon learn, an influential friend. When I first met her she was sitting in her wheelchair writing in her calender. With each and everyday we became more acquainted with one another. I began to be familiar with her daily routine, her favorite shows, and her favorite things to do, and she began to warm up to me telling me stories and talking about how beautiful the magnolia was outside her window. One day she asked me to write a letter for a friend because she said she could not write. Remembering that she had been writing in her calender I told her she could and I gave her a few words of encouragement, but I wrote the letter anyway. On my last day at the nursing facility she wrote her name, number, and date of birth, on a piece of paper and handed it to me smiling. It was at this moment that I realized that I can make a big difference in people's lives just by words of encouragement.
I have taken this lesson and applied it to my life. Whether I am tutoring someone, babysitting someone, or just present when someone is having trouble or feels down I remember Olive and when my small words shone through her smiling face.