The Book Of Our Lives

Wake up, Gracie!  
This isn’t a novel you’re reading, 
A book you can tear yourself away from whenever you feel like it. 
This is your life, your story. 
You decide the ending, you are not a spectator. 
You’re the main character.  
 
It’s down to you to decide what happens. 
You can change your fate. 
Come on, it’s still a draft. 
This story hasn’t been published yet. 
 
You write the storyline, 
Who plays what part? 
Is there a mystery? 
A twist in the plot? 
 
Is it a tragedy or a fairytale with a happy ending? 
That’s in your hands. 
You are the author of your own life. 
 
THE END 
 
 
Hi Everyone! 
 
We are all the writers of our own story, we can edit it and choose the words we use. Suddenly 
we are not reading someone else’s life journey, we are penning our own. 
 
We battle on through disaster and good times, struggles and joy. Through the predictable and 
the unexpected, the happy and the sad. Each event affects and shapes the future of the story 
and your, and my, book of life. 
 
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Gracie  🙂 🙂 🙂
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Livin’ In A Bubble

Hello There Everybody!  Trust Katy Perry to bring out another catchy song just as I was beginning to get ‘Roar’ out of my head. Every time I turn the radio on, Chained To The Rhythm is playing over and over and over again. And again. And again. And again.

At first I didn’t like it. Then I started listening to the lyrics, I didn’t have much choice, it’s being blasted out of speakers wherever I go.  Then I began to see the message behind this previously annoying pop song. Just read these words:

Are we crazy?
Living our lives through a lens
Trapped in our white-picket fence
Like ornaments
So comfortable, we live in a bubble, a bubble
So comfortable, we cannot see the trouble, the trouble
Aren’t you lonely
Up there in utopia
Where nothing will ever be enough?
Happily numb
So comfortable, we live in a bubble, a bubble
So comfortable, we cannot see the trouble, the trouble

Ah, so good
Your rose-colored glasses on
And party on

They got me thinking, maybe she’s right. Perhaps we all live in a bubble, thinking everything’s fine within our own little world. Maybe we don’t want to open our eyes to the rest of the planet and see what’s going on beyond our comfort zone. If we did, we’d have to do something about it, we’d see the poverty, fear and oppression that exists outside of our ‘bubble’. I guess everyone has one, though they’re all very different. Some people wear dark rose-coloured glasses and can see very little, others wear light ones, but rose-coloured all the same.

I think the challenge is to be able to pop your bubble and step out into the big, wide world. So much awaits you and you can do so much to help others.

 

I’d love to know how you feel? Your heartfelt, encouraging, kind and thoughtful comments always make my day so please don’t hesitate to leave me one. I am interested in all your opinions, comment discussions are always welcome. Thank you in advance,

Gracie,

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Something Inside So Strong…..

Hi Everyone! It’s Gracie here.

Sometimes there are things you just can’t ignore, things you have to put out there, share with others. The lyrics to this song haunt me in a good way, they are stuck in my mind, heart and soul forever.

They remind you of the injustice, prejudice, cruelty and darkness in this world. But they also convey pride and determination. They fill me with genuine emotion, especially when I hear them to the music, sung in that soulful voice that rings out with raw honesty and utter dignity, refusing ever to give in to the ignorance and oppression of society.

This is the tale of standing up and standing together, fighting for your rights. Listening to the song empowers and inspires me, I hope you feel the same way.

Without further ado, I present to you, Mr Labi Siffre!

 

What did you think? Am I the only one who is close to tears listening to this? What does the singer motivate you to do or change in your own life? I would love to hear from you, you always make my day with your kind, encouraging and touching comments. Thank you so much! 

Here is a reminder of the lyrics. Trust me, the more times you read them, the better they seem to become!

The higher you build your barriers
The taller I become
The further you take my rights away
The faster I will run
You can deny me, you can decide
To turn your face away
No matter ’cause there’s

Something inside so strong
I know that I can make it
Though you’re doing me wrong, so wrong
You thought that my pride was gone, oh no
There’s something inside so strong
Oh oh-oh-oh-oh-oh, something inside so strong

The more you refuse to hear my voice (ooh-weh ooh-weh ooh-weh ooh-weh)
The louder I will sing
You hide behind walls of Jericho (ooh-weh ooh-weh ooh-weh ooh-weh)
Your lies will come tumbling
Deny my place in time, you squander wealth that’s mine
My light will shine so brightly it will blind you
Because there’s

Something inside so strong
I know that I can make it
Though you’re doing me wrong, so wrong
You thought that my pride was gone, oh no
There’s something inside so strong
Oh oh-oh-oh-oh-oh, something inside so strong

Brothers and sisters, when they insist we’re just not good enough
Well we know better, just look him in his eyes and say
We’re gonna do it anyway, we’re gonna do it anyway
We’re gonna do it anyway, we’re gonna do it anyway
Because there’s

Something inside so strong
I know that I can make it
Though you’re doing me wrong, so wrong
You thought that my pride was gone, oh no, oh no
There’s something inside so strong

~Labi Siffre~ from the album So Strong

Bye for now….

Gracie

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Sojourner’s Truth

He said he’d set me free in a year if I worked hard. I did my best, I was so hopeful that me and my family would have a better future. When the time came, I reminded him of his promise. But the man had changed his mind. Back then I didn’t know that slavery was due to be abolished in New York when that time was up. Really he had no choice. 

Now it had been postponed and he, my slave master, had no intentions of letting us go when it was unnecessary. He was a cruel and self-centred man.  I remember the day I heard that news. The anger, disappointment and frustration that had been growing in me for so long reached its climax. I took my daughter and fled that place forever. 

We sought refuge with a family who abhorred slavery, me and my daughter were safe with them. Especially when they bought us for twenty dollars and gave us our freedoms. Of course I was happy, but I couldn’t help thinking of my fellow slaves, my many children, all of whom I knew were still toiling in the fields and bearing the lashes of the all too frequent whip. 

Slavery was abolished in our home state of New York soon after, to my absolute joy and relief. But when I tried to reunite with my son, I found out that he had been sold to someone in Alabama. That was against the law. Again, I felt that same strength inside me, fuelled by my grief and outrage. 

I was black and I was a woman, even though I was free, my rights were still little or nothing. What chance did I have of getting my son back? I didn’t know, but I had to try. I went to court, believe it or not. And I stood, in front of a crowd of all white men, and I stated my case. I was brave and it paid off. I won and my son came home to me. 

You may think I would be content with that, but no. I couldn’t bear the thought of all those slaves who were still under the power of their mean and heartless masters. The thought of the sickening stench of sweat and blood that I could still smell when I lay awake at night. When I closed my eyes I could see the straining muscles and pained expressions, hear the desperate cries resounding in my ears.

I didn’t know what I could do, but I knew that I had to do something. One day I just left my home and began walking. I changed my name to Sojourner Truth. A sojourner is a person who stays in one place for a short time, before moving on. A journeyer, a wanderer, a traveller.  I was searching for the truth. I was open, I learned as I went. I spoke, but most importantly, I listened. 

I walked the length and breadth of America, telling people about the plight of us slaves, about how skin colour doesn’t matter, how we feel things the same as anyone else, we are smart and brave and loving and loyal too. I told them about equality between humans, black and white, male and female. 

People got to hear of me I guess. I was known throughout the nation as a civil rights activist. I never really set out to be one, I was just a woman with faith and a message to share with others. I was some’s heroine and other’s enemy. But I didn’t care, I knew what I believed and I stood up for it.

I dedicated my life to the abolition of slavery in the U.S. Met Abraham Lincoln and told him the story of my life, played a part in recruiting troops to fight in the civil war to free my brothers and sisters who still suffered at the hands of their masters. I did everything in my power to wipe slavery off the earth.

That was the true story (retold by me) of a black slave woman named Isabella Baumfree, who became Sojourner Truth, a celebrated and admired civil rights activist, author of the famous and emotive speech ‘Ain’t I A Woman?’ which you can watch below.

What do you think Sojourner would think of the world how it is today? Does she inspire you like she inspires me? What emotions does the video provoke in you? Do you have any questions? Please let me know how you feel about this post as I really value all your opinions and ideas.  Comment discussions always welcome! 

 

 

 

Kindness Is Always A Choice

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Travelling round the world on a bright yellow motorbike relying entirely on the kindness of strangers? “Impossible!” I hear you cry “Crazy!” Well, that’s exactly what Leon Legothetis has done. He’s made a documentary about it too, Kindness Diaries.

You know when you watch something and it just sets off a whole load of exciting thoughts in your head, like an explosion? When one leads to another and suddenly you have this brand new and amazing idea that you can’t stop thinking about? When you start to write the words in your mind and imagine what they’ll look like on paper? When you sit down to type them up on your blog to inspire others like it inspired you?

Well, that’s what I’m going to do. Listen up because I’m about to share an incredible story with you……

In short, Leon was a successful businessman who realised that life wasn’t all about money and self. So he decided to go off around the world experiencing human kindness and paying it back where he could. He bought an old motorcycle that he nicknamed Kindness 1 and off he went, with no money, food or belongings.

After seeing this program it made me form an idea I’m calling ‘world kindness’.

Watching Leon and Kindness 1 in The Kindness Diaries made me realise just how simple kindness really is. It all boils down to just one choice, to be or not to be, that is the question. There are no ‘ifs’ and ‘buts’ about it.

In that moment you can think of yourself or you can think of others, the thoughts in your head and the decision that you make are the only determining factor of your kindness.

Anyone can make the choice. People can surprise themselves by just pushing everything self related to one side and saying yes. 

It can be quite a challenge to put human nature aside and go against your instincts, but there is kindness in all of us. We just have to let it take control. It’s that choice thing again!

The effects of world kindness could be unbelievable. All through history, war and greed have dominated. People have fought and killed over power and riches. But if every person on the planet decided to be kind perhaps we could break that pattern of thinking about self and make the future look a thousand times brighter.

We could defy the urge in us to think only of ourselves. We could stop arguing and fighting. We could start sharing instead of taking. We could achieve so much if we worked together. People would be happy and content. Because when you pay out kindness, it always comes back to you.

Imagine the world I have just described to you and remember the cost: just one, simple choice.

I’d love to hear your thoughts. Your feedback and comments mean so much and I always want to discuss things with others.  Different opinions and ideas are always welcome!  

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TheCramm Award

I was nominated by the incredible Aqsa for this inspiring and slightly different award. It is called the Cramm Award because an amazing young blogger called Liv created this website called theCramm. It’s whole desire is to make current affairs more understandable and interesting for young adults and teens. So a huge thank you to both Aqsa and Liv!

Now, the rules:

  • Include a bit  about who created this award (with a link to the website)
  • Mention the person who nominated you
  • Share three things that motivate you to blog
  • Share three people who inspire you to blog
  • Share one thing you hope to do to improve the world
  • Answer your challenge question
  • Nominate 10+ bloggers and give them a cool challenge question

Here it goes!

Three Things That Motivate Me To Blog

First and foremost, the world. The purpose of A Light In The Darkness is to be a light and help others through my passion: words and stories. There is so much to write about, good and bad. Everything sparks my interest and I try to combine my loves of writing and making the world a better place together to create a recipe for positive change.

Inspiration. Recently I wrote this in one of my many works of fiction:

I am a writer, I feed off of the crazy inspiration that wells up inside me, demanding to be pinned onto paper. So when I can’t write,  I don’t know who I am. I begin to feel like a sort of spirit of a past writer, who wanders with all purpose lost. Who seeks a new identity.

Lastly, it probably has to be the thought of the impact I, an ordinary teen girl, could have on the planet if I keep writing. I hope people read my posts and are inspired, motivated, filled with hope and light. I really want my tiny, humble blog to reach out to people all over our earth, from all races, religions, backgrounds and cultures.

Three People Who Inspire Me To Blog

My Dad. My Dad teaches me and explains things to me. He encourages me, but he also challenges me. My Dad wants to contribute to making a better world and he wants me to help him on his journey. He was the one who came up with the idea of my blog name: A Light In The Darkness. Dad always told me about the people who are like lighthouses, the ones who guide others away from the treacherous rocks and into the safety of the light.  Dad talks to me and makes sure I understand everything in the world. I am so grateful for having him as my chief source of research and also as my biggest supporter. When you read my posts in future, remember that he is always there, behind the scenes…..

My Mum too. She always reads through posts and casts her valuable opinion, whether or not I listen to it is another question! But she’s always right. She always encourages me with my writing and assures me that I have a gift, but she also lets me know when I’m not meeting my potential, which I really appreciate. She plays a lot of the same roles as my Dad, teaching me, answering my never-ending stream of questions and much more. i love her so much.  Mum is another essential member of my ‘behind the scenes’ blogging team.

Then there are all the other people who inspire me in my life, in big and small ways. Whether it’s Malala Yousafzai standing up for girl’s education or just a conversation I have with one of my friends, even the tiniest thing can set off a whole train of thoughts in my mind. I am so glad that the world is full of opportunities to be inspired. I am thankful for each and every thing that captures my attention and forces me to write something to raise awareness and do it justice.

One Thing I Want To Do To Improve The World 

There are so many things in the world that need changing and I often wonder how I can make a difference. Everywhere I look there are problems and tragic situations. It’s so difficult for me to even know where to begin.

One thing that’s always on my mind is how I can make a direct difference to people’s lives. I often feel like blogging about the world isn’t enough to do anything of any real meaning.

I have moments where I’ve been watching the news and I’m ready to board an aeroplane and fly to Africa, but my parents always tell me that I’m 13 and that it would be crazy. I might be able to help a few people, but people need more than just food and water, they need the rest of the world to stop thinking about themselves and start sharing what they have with others.

So I’ll keep writing, hoping that I’m changing attitudes and perspectives for the better. I am doing something that I love and am good at and, bit by bit, I am helping to make the world a much more peaceful and fair place.

All in all, I want to change people’s minds, make them think and hopefully take action. I want to draw people together and show them the truth.

Aqsa’s Challenge Question For Me

If you were to have 3 wishes to change the world, what would you wish for?

Well, first of all I would abolish greed. Greed causes wars and conflicts, destroys people’s lives and relationships. It is a terrible force for evil and it lives within all of us. Greed was the reason people kept slaves, the reason why a person would kill a whole other race of people. Our history is riddled with it and although we can’t erase that, we can learn our lesson and begin again.

Secondly, I would wish for people to suddenly wake up and realise what we are doing to our planet and its people.  Because we can’t change unless we acknowledge that we were wrong.

Lastly I would wish that all people could live without fear, oppression, war, poverty, discrimination and injustice in their lives. That everyone was happy and content. This is my overall wish for the world.

My Challenge Question For My Nominees

If you could team up with someone to create a movement for change, who would it be, why would it be them and what would your movement focus on? 

My Nominees!

Em

Fizzy

Arya and Shruti

Thoughts In Life

Misty

RubixCube

Mintiefreshie

Megan

Asha

Chithra

Elsie L.M.C

If I haven’t tagged you feel free to nominate yourself! Let me know if you do so I can read your answers! If I have nominated and you’d rather not do this award, then no worries. Enjoy……!

 

 

 

Spreading The Message Of Peace

Today I thought I would share something that I found inspiring. This post was written by my amazing blogging friend Aqsa from Aqsa Says What? Head over to her blog and leave her a comment because her words are completely true. She is a teen trying to make a difference, just like me.

So, without further ado, here is her short, but powerful post:

Hi everyone! Aqsa here, and it’s seriously been a LONG time since I’ve posted a quote rant, so I’ll be posting one today 😊. I hope that this inspires to be positive or motivates you for the day! Keep following your dreams, because I haven’t stopped following mine. Aqsa ❤

via Quote Rant #10 — Aqsa Says What?

The Right To Be A Kid

Young people can be inspirational, empowered, passionate and aware of the world. They can make big differences, but in the end, kids are kids. They are entitled to a happy, safe and enriching childhood. An environment to play and learn and be themselves. But not all kids have this opportunity and it’s not just children that are poor or unprivileged that face this problem, even the richest and most famous of children can be forced to live in this situation.

This story is based on a true event involving Barron Trump and Chelsea Clinton. I found it incredible and it restored some of my faith in humanity.

The Right To Be A Kid by Gracie Chick (me) 

Snap! Snap! The cameras swarm like flies around the boy with the slightly bewildered expression. He is wearing an expensive blue suit and every now and then someone shoves into him, pressing a microphone into his face. His Mother is tall and glamorous beside him. She poses and then takes him by the hand and leads him up the steps, past the huge columns and  through the doorway that’s protected by tough security guards. 

His head is pounding and looks over his shoulder to see the guards closing the door on all the jostling reporters. 

He wanders around the hundreds of rooms that make up the mansion he has to call home. He feels lost. The boy gazes out of a window, watching the kids playing in the street and wishing he could do the same. But every time he steps outside he’s plagued by a cavalcade of paparazzi that descend upon him. Then there’s the fact that he moves school so often and he has no friends. No one. There’s so much pressure on his young shoulders. 

He knows what people think. As much as his parents may try to hide it from him. He knows people judge him on who is father is. He wishes they wouldn’t, he’s just like any other kid. 

The boy logs onto his fancy laptop. His Dad is the hottest topic, every news page has something to say, mostly negative. Social media is brimming with hateful comments, some regarding himself.  He scrolls through them,  each word a stab at his wounded heart.

But then he sees something different, nestled amongst the mocking messages is a glinting nugget of hope. The tweet reads:

‘Barron Trump deserves the chance to be a kid.’ The author is Chelsea Clinton, the daughter of his Father’s old rival to the presidency.

His heart is lifted as he reads through some more. 

‘Whether you support Trump or you don’t, you can’t attack Barron Trump just because of whose son he is.’ 

‘He didn’t run for office, did he? He is ten years old.’

The End.

And in the raging social media battle that ensued, Democrats and Republicans alike, set aside their differences to defend the rights of a child. I am glad that they made the decision to stand up for Barron Trump together and to fight against prejudice.

It just goes to show that there is always one thing that can join us together. Maybe if we find that one thing then the people of the world that are fighting can stop, the people who are taking can give, the people who are lying can tell the truth, the people who are sad can be joyful and the people who are crying can laugh.

I hope you enjoyed this post and I’d love to hear from you! Please let me know what you think, your feedback always means a lot, especially on my more thought-provoking posts.