Tell me what yall think about this. I am not set on it and am open to any and all criticism. Let me have it.
After two weeks at Gilber’s home, I had learned Costa Rican roosters did not come with snooze buttons. It was an hour when reasonable people, and farm animals, were sleeping, yet that damn rooster wanted me up. There was no use trying to sleep through it, so I threw off my blankets, went outside, and jumped into the ice-cold shower. Maybe a minute later I was out, not very clean, but certainly awake. Still shivering, I dressed, making sure to check if any tarantulas (big enforcers of trespassing codes) had decided to make my boots home for the evening. After a quick breakfast, it was time for the day’s work.
The nature of the work was visible through Gilber’s hands. After many years, his once useful and vigorous tools had deteriorated into the fifty-year-old antiques hanging by his sides. They were calloused and cripplingly arthritic. The pain was obvious in his eyes whether he was picking coffee beans, repairing a neighbor’s shed, or butchering a sow, but his work never slowed. Not once did he complain. As I worked beside him, constantly reminding myself of my supposed youth and vigor, I was moved.
I vividly remember looking down at my own pair. Dirty from working outside, but below that initial layer of dirt lay smooth hands. I realized the closest thing I had to a callous was where my pen sat between my thumb and forefinger. I was ashamed. The more I watched and got to know Gilber, the more I realized his hands, old and tired as they were, were symbols of his all-around approach to life. Yes, his hands were the physical manifestation of a passionate dedication to his work, but they also represented the similar steadfast approach he took in all aspects of his life, including family, God, and community. He approached his faith, being a husband, father, brother, friend, and neighbor the same way his hands approached another day in the field, determined, regardless of the pain and personal sacrifice, to do what needed to be done, do it to the best of his abilities, and to go about it the right way.
I know my hands will never look like Gilber's, but as a lawyer I will use the same tireless approach to achieve similar results. I will employ the strengths his hands represented, absolute dedication, relentlessness, and sacrifice, and use them to become the best, most dedicated, and involved lawyer possible. Before I even knew what a lawyer really did or anything about the practice of law, I wanted to attend law school and become a lawyer. Beginning in high school, I have talked to and questioned successful lawyers I came into contact with, kept up with happenings within the world of law, and actively pursued a greater understanding of what it took to become the best lawyer possible. After talking to all these people, reading so many articles, and thinking about what it took to be a great lawyer, I thought I had it pretty much figured out. Everything changed when I saw Gilber and his hands working in the field. It came as a total shock to find that a man thousands of miles away would teach me more about succeeding and being the best lawyer possible than any of the likely sources. With absolutely no concept of American law school or the American judicial system, Gilber taught me lessons that will take me as far as any legal specific study I enter in over the next three years. There will be days when I am overcome by exhaustion and am at wits end about how to solve a crucial problem. In essence, my world will take the form of Gilber's crippled hands, hanging exhausted at his waist. But regardless of the pain, I will approach law school and being a lawyer the same way he and his hands approached another difficult day of work. I will feel as crippled and lame, but his example taught me to depend on my more powerful passion, dedication, and faith to finish the day's task. He showed me how to embrace all aspects of the job you love, do it to the best of your ability, and apply those same principles to all aspects of your life.
I had got into the habit of keeping a journal of my days in Costa Rica, and any given entry might detail a day or two’s events over the course of a page or so. Looking for inspiration for this essay, I was recently flipping through the journal when I got to an entry dated February 14th, 2007. Squeezed between two much longer and detailed entries were two underlined words: “his hands”. Though I had forgotten about the journal entry, the message behind it remains a vital part of my character and will be crucial to my future success as a lawyer. When I left for Costa Rica I was skeptical that I would have the life changing moment that people describe after a trip abroad, especially one that would help me become the great lawyer I have always yearned to be. I never had such a moment, but a man and his hands did impact me in ways I could never have imagined.
(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )
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