iApprove: Connor McGowan’s Speech On Happenstance.

February 16, 2009

I was browsing The Meming of Life (a blog about, among other things, raising thoughtful, intelligent kids) and I came upon a particularly inspiring post.  It described the writer’s then twelve-year-old son Connor, a very fun and intelligent lad.  It also contained a very inspiring speech that the boy wrote for an assignment back in seventh grade.

What makes his speech so awe-inspiring isn’t just that he demonstrates such enormous insight into the world around him – though he is remarkably enlightened for a man of any age – but the fact that this is a twelve-year-old boy. The topic of discussion: the sheer amount of chance that affects our lives and the lives of those around us.

Here’s a sample of his speech (and, in my opinion, the  best part):

On April 23, 1862, a 19-year-old Confederate soldier was shot through the neck by a Yankee bullet. He lay on the battlefield, bleeding profusely, then was found and taken to a Yankee field hospital as a prisoner of war. The doctors were able to stop the bleeding just in time to save his life. If the bullet had entered his neck one inch further to the left, he would have died. I’m glad he didn’t, because if he had, I wouldn’t be giving this speech. That nineteen-year-old boy just happened to be my great-great-great grandfather.

The rest of the essay can be found at http://parentingbeyondbelief.com/blog/?p=269.  It’s excellent reading for anyone of any age.


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