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Published:November 26th, 2005 14:49 EST
Life is Hard, Life is Cruel, Life is Beautiful

Life is Hard, Life is Cruel, Life is Beautiful

By Ann Poludenko

Let’s talk about the most precious things in the life of every person. Who can say for sure what they are? Is it a diamond necklace or a case full of a hundred banknotes? It is believed that small children are not yet affected by the so called “values of the world” that grownups are.  It’s the children that can tell you the secrets to the most important things.

Recently, when I was in the garden, I saw a small girl playing.  Jenny was so lovely but her eyes were full of despair. We started to talk about the things that were most stressful for her. After the first five minutes had passed, I was shocked, astound and understood how clever that little girl was. She was not a genius, nor had she graduated from any universities but she was seemed more clever than most of her professors. The girl told me that her greatest treasures were to have the ability to see, to hear, to feel, to love, to smell as well as to live!

How many times did you think about your gift – to live! Very often people find the real value of life as soon as they are faced with the possibility of losing it. Sometimes grief overpowers all of our feelings and we say something like “Better die than…”, or “After what happened yesterday, I don’t want to live any more…” Of course, we don’t take that seriously, but some people are just simply afraid to say things like that because they possess a firm understanding of the meaning of the word “death” too well.

After Jenny was told that her mom had passed and she would continue to look over her from heaven, she became very sad. The next day she was brought to a hospital, where a woman in white clothes prepared an injection for her.  The nurse began talking with Jenny’s father who seemed to become angrier than ever.  Within a week the girl was sent to children’s home and her so called “father” had disappeared forever after calling her mom some bad names.

This is all Jenny remembers about her “previous life” as she recalls it. Today, she is a 22 year old happy, life-loving girl that lives with HIV infection. HIV is a reason for her mother’s death and also the reason for her father leaving her (“he did not want to have a daughter with HIV”, - remembers the friend of the family), of her childhood in the children’s home. This situation was the very thing that taught her how to find reasons for optimism in just about any situation and how to understand about the ignorance and fear she has seen in people unfamiliar with HIV.    

It took a lot of effort to make the decision to fight for her life.  The reason being, as a result of people being afraid to talk openly about anything related to sex; people can’t help but be ignorant. And every morning she gets up overcoming her own weaknesses to enjoy the greatest value of the world – her own life. Jenny takes upon herself to become educated about HIV and spread that knowledge the best way she can, just to help others to find their “treasures”. She speaks to school groups, to collage students, to professors and businessmen just to let them know everyone has a right to live and no one has a right to let their life slip by.

These are the basic rights of every person and no one must encroach upon that. “Most of the HIV students that attend my classes did want to “destroy their treasures” - to end their lives. All the problems they had to deal with and people that don’t know anything about HIV positives turned out to be too cruel, and had almost destroyed the dreams of these young people. But my goal is to show them that no matter what problems they have to deal with – the most precious things they have are their lives full of dreams that is possible to make a reality.”

There are many different people in the world. Some of them are too worried with their problems that turn into nonsense within a year, others are too busy with harming their friends – we can just feel sorry with them.  But should never forget, there are people out there who are living and following their dreams, and we should do the same. … Pay attention to what you're doing to your body, and don't let life slip by – that’s what makes you rich!