In the article “Serving Up Hope” by Stephanie Shapiro, the story “A Father” by Bharati Mukherjee, and the two poems “Directions for Resisting the SAT” by Richard Hague and “First Practice” by Gary Gildner there is a common theme of being the source of your own destiny. They all speak of taking matters into your own hands and taking control of your future. In “Serving Up Hope” the Samson’s believe in focusing on the well being of their employees, who are all financially unstable. In “A Father” the narrator, Mr. Bhowmick, has to come to terms with the differences between his Indians ways and the Western culture of America. The poem “Directions for Resisting the SAT” speaks of not following the norm and making your own decisions. “First Practice” speaks of being your own person and not being influenced by others. On Friday October 26th groups of children from the Refugee Youth Program came to trick-or-treat at my dorm. The experience was something I had never endured before. This youth group tries to build a foundation for these children because they are underprivileged and they want them to have promising futures.
In the article “Serving Up Hope” Galen and Bridget Samson open a door of opportunity for drug addicts and convicts. These people are financially unstable due to their drug problems and criminal offenses. The Samson’s, along with the help of the Baltimore Community Fellowship Program, were able to open the Dogwood Deli. Here, convicts and drug addicts were trained and employed. This allowed them to begin to gain their independence back and build a better life for themselves. This article relates to the trick-or-treaters because statics show that many refugee children grow up to fall under at least one of these two categories. The youth program is an effort to reduce the number of refugees that become drug addicts and convicts allowing these children to form smart decisions and live healthy, happy lives in the future.
The story “A Father” talks about the controversial topic of pregnancy out of wedlock. The father, Mr. Bhowmick, is very in touch with Indian culture. He does not like the way the Western culture portrays certain things, such as the idea of pregnancy out of wedlock. His daughter, however, is pregnant and without a husband, and he blames his wife for how Westernized his daughter has become his moving to America. Although Western culture does not entirely accept pregnancy out of wedlock, it is more common than in other cultures. Due to the life refugee children have endured it is not uncommon for them to experience a pregnancy out of wedlock or teenage pregnancy. This is yet another aspect the Refugee Youth Program hopes their efforts will prevent. By preventing a pregnancy of this nature these children can go to school, get a degree, and make something of them. All they need is the motivation to take control of their futures.
The poem “Direction for Resisting the SAT” speaks of making your own decisions. The SAT does not define a person; it does not even accurately evaluate how intelligent someone is. The poem tells the reader to stray from the norm and do what makes you happy. Just as the SAT does not define a person, neither does the stereotypes of refugee children. A refugee child does not have a predestined future; everyone has the power to define his or her own destiny. Refugee children have a hard time growing up, but that does not mean if they persevere they can’t accomplish their dreams. The Refugee Youth Program gives these kids hope for the future, for them to determine their own destiny.
The second poem “First Practice” speaks of boys at their first sports practice. It has a message of not being influenced by other people. It also speaks of seizing the opportunities life presents you with. Opening up my dorm to these young children from the short period of time that day was my opportunity to experience an act of kindness I’ve never endured. Seeing their faces light up as I opened the door, warmed my heart. Even for those few minutes I had with them I felt that I made their day a little brighter.
Every one of these literary works portrays controlling your destiny in its own way. In “Serving Up Hope” controlling your future by teaching the underprivileged and troubled people how to get back on their feet. “A Father” displays destiny in the sense of finding one’s way through different cultures. In the poem “Direction for Resisting the SAT” describes controlling destiny by being an individual and making your own decisions. The second poem “First Practice” portrays the idea of destiny by not being a follower and taking every opportunity that comes into one’s life. Capturing destiny takes effect and patience, and I believe those are two things the Refugee Youth Program tries to teach their kids how to strive for a great future. Take life into your own hands because life is what you make it and its up to you to form your own destiny.