Deputy Head Prefect, Anna Boult, delivered an inspiring and thought-provoking speech in assembly as part of the Year 13 speech programme.
This is a story about four friends named Everybody, Somebody, Anybody and Nobody. These four people were addressed a challenge at the age of 12. Everybody was sure that Somebody would complete it. Anybody could have accomplished it, but Nobody did. Somebody got angry about that, because it was Everybody’s challenge. Everybody thought “Anybody could do it”, but Nobody realised that Everybody wouldn’t do it.
When these four people were sitting around in their retirement village, old and frail, it ended up that Everybody blamed Somebody when Nobody did what Anybody could have done. This straight forward, but imperative challenge that was set for these four people was simply to make the most out of their lives and when they had got to the age that they are now, they would have no regrets about the things they didn’t do.
Life can be hard, confusing, frustrating and sometimes you just feel like you’ve been knocked around a bit… literally. But it is the people who rise above these situations, take the skills learnt from the negative moments and put them to positive use who can say they have truly made the most of their life. For example, from my experience of getting a black eye from playing hockey – as you have just seen the resulting injuries, I am able to say that I now have faster reaction times and am more aware on the hockey turf.
Youth Speaker Josh Shipp said, “you either get bitter or you get better. It’s that simple. You either take what has been dealt to you and allow it to make you a better person, or you allow it to tear you down. The choice does not belong to fate, it belongs to you”.
Therefore it is your decision if you dwell on past, negative experiences and let them interfere with other potentially enjoyable moments or whether you learn from them, move on and look forward to what is in front of you.
However, life isn’t always all about gaining skills in different situations. I personally think that a good goal is just to enjoy every moment – because that’s what we really live for isn’t it? Taking pleasure in the things we do and looking forward to doing so. Every moment we experience in life, whether it is positive or negative can become more enjoyable or less enjoyable. That is a fact. We have the power to choose whether this enjoyment scale escalates or drops. In a recent movie I watched called Passengers, two people wake up 90 years too soon from an induced hibernation on board a spaceship bound for a new planet. Jennifer Lawrence said, “You can get so hung up on where you’re at that you can’t enjoy where you are”.
This truly underpins that it is your own responsibility to take charge and make the most of your life, rather than waiting around for other people or external factors to provide you with your happiness.
Don’t be like Everybody, Anybody and Somebody, be like Nobody (as in the person Nobody) who did achieve her challenge, but in saying that, don’t be “a nobody”. So when I searched the definition of “a nobody”, the top result was: “a person who doesn’t deserve to be a person; a waste of a life”. That’s the point that I’m trying to get across isn’t it? So many people live each day, waiting for the next day. They don’t maximise their time, don’t take opportunities and don’t enjoy the journey to whatever makes them happy. Then I thought, what’s the point in having the privilege of being alive if you are not utilising it to the fullest and like the definition says “wasting it”.
We are all made for greatness in our own particular ways, but by the time people reach the end of their lives, like Everybody, Somebody, and Anybody, many, have not displayed their full potential of greatness. So that is my challenge for everyone. Live a life of challenge, live a life of experiences that make you smile just thinking about them, live a life where you are proud of what you have achieved… and most of all, live a life full of happiness.
So when you are sitting there at your retirement village, boarding the age of 100, you will not be regretting all of the things you wanted to do, but reminiscing the amazing things that you did do. Although at this stage, I would still like to think that you are doing amazing things, like the lady who celebrated her 100th birthday by doing a skydive! I’m not saying that you have to do something this extreme, but I hope that you will still be carrying on with your exciting journey of life.
Anna Boult, Year 13