you are this perfect person in my life, and the person i want to spend the rest of my life with. and i guess it’s kind of weird for me to say all of this, considering i don’t know you as well as i wish i did, but i’m getting there and i’m so happy.
my eyes light up when i see you, and my smile grows bigger than i ever thought it could.
your name sits in my mind all day, bouncing around as i fantasize about our possible future together. i guess it’s kind of silly, or maybe you find it weird, the thought of me thinking about you all the time, but i care more about you than you know. i always have, and i always will.
that’s the funny thing about love, sometimes it’s sitting right in front of you; all you have to do is reach out and grab it. and, sometimes you do, and others, well, i hope it’s not one of those times. because i think you could learn to love me too.
i’m so utterly in love.
but, it hurts my heart, because i am not sure if you even feel the slightest fraction of what i feel. i’m just hoping you come around.
and even if you don’t, i can still have the thoughts in my mind, about all the amazing, memorable, dream-like, picture-perfect times we could have together.
spending long days together doing whatever we feel like and staring up at the night sky, getting lost in the stars.
god, these thoughts kill me because i want them to be true more than life itself.
but, for the moment, i’m so happy; i’m so so happy and i owe it all to you.
i love you.
and i know it’s summer soon, and we may drift apart but as long as we both hold on tight, i think we will be alright.
Truly, take a moment to think about this, I’m not rushing you. I really want you to think about it.
Have you ever thought about those in other countries who carry barrels of water up to their communities that are engufled in deep or even extreme poverty?
Or have you ever thought about how some parents wake up at four in the morning, dress in their culturally traditional clothes, and walk miles, barefoot, to try and sell their country’s knick-knacks in the hot, crowded streets just to make enough to put the bare minimum amount of food in their children’s mouths?
Well, on the trip that I took to Peru last week there were many of these women, these strong women, who dealt with the hardships of living in poverty, working ruthless jobs, and supporting a family most likely larger than yours.
When people think of Peru, what comes to their mind is almost definitely Machu Picchu, this is what came to my mind too, before I was able to experience what it was really like and how much I had gone my whole life without knowing.
Though the culture and history of every single city in that unique country is beyond stunning, and the intelligence of the Incans in incomprehensible, there is so much more to the country than meets the eye.
The levels of poverty in the city make Peru the third poorest country in South America, as poverty consumes up to a fifth of the country that hosts up to almost 32 million people.
Women sell handicrafts on the street, while men leave their families to work in the mines, in order to help support the ones they love. The houses are made out of makeshift materials all leaning up against each other, and the children bake in the hot sun and swim in puddles when the rainy seasons come, without even a pair of rubber boots to help them.
Though many people struggle to live like this, they are okay. They are happy. Their smiles grace their aged faces as they accept you into their community. The meaning of family extends to anyone in the community, and everyone takes care of each other.
The happiness is far greater than that you see in the United States, with spoiled children presenting their parents with scowls signifying them not receiving the gift they had wanted.
These Peruvians live off of barely enough to get by, but they are happy, while we are here wallowing in our own pity with enough money to share.
So I ask myself, “Why are we not helping them and others in the world?” “Why are we not putting more effort into decreasing the levels of poverty throughout the world?”
When you were little did any of you ever dream of becoming a movie star or professional athlete, but later figured out you can’t amount to either of these things unless you have millions of dollars? And, speaking from experience, the percentage of little girls who dream to own and show a horse in the Olympics is very large, I’d say about 99.9% of them do.
But, later the harsh reality of life kicks in, and the kids, as well as their parents, learn that the cost of showing, owning, and maintaining a horse of that stature is much more than the average American earns a year. Even the cost to purchase this caliber of horse can range from $100,000-millions of dollars. The thing is, the rich-and-famous stereotype is completely true. The cost of showing a horse on the international circuit can exceed $200,000 a year. Riders often will have more than one horse to compete in each of three different classes, which include jumpers, hunters, and equitation.
It’s the epitome of a luxury good.
Alongside that, the classes in which you compete are judged on how nice of a horse you own, even in the walk trot divisions with four-year-old girls and their ponies. The collegiate level, along with the other levels, in horseback riding are judged unfairly because of the imbalance of wealth.
The wealth indifference lights up in the average person’s face saying, “Only the rich make it.”
“No wonder the elite equestriennes gracing this month’s Town & Country are all billionaire princesses.”
The connection between horses and wealth began a millennia ago.
In fact, the first people who were known to commend hierarchies of power and believe variations of wealth were vital to their society were also the first people to own and ride horses.
Picture a movie based in the renaissance period. You can imagine the king riding into the shot on his noble steed, while the peasants walk in on foot; this is because of the imbalance of wealth between the king and his subjects. Now, take the millionaires and billionaires in the world and insert them into the king’s spot, and the rest of the world into the peasant’s spot. The rich have the privilege to trot around on their fancy horses while the rest of us travel in our subpar cars to work and school.
Do you think this is fair?
Horseback riding is a dubious sport when an animal of great value is involved; the person competing in the sport vanishes, showcasing your wealth through the one thing being judged, your horse.
In a division known as hunters, the judge is only allowed to judge the horse, and not acknowledge the rider upon its back. Because of this, the wealth difference between riders is highlighted and becomes very clear about who will take the win home.
Amongst the 5,000 horses and 2,800 riders at the equestrian festival near Palm Beach, Florida lies many of the world’s elite. Let’s say you are competing at this festival, and while you’re scrolling through the list of people you are competing against, you come across the last name that rings a bell in many people’s minds: Gates.
Jennifer Gates, also known as Bill Gates’, “the richest man in America,” daughter, is competing in your division. By seeing this name, you automatically know you stand no chance of beating her. Her dad is willing to spend millions of dollars on horses, which many families are not able to do, despite how much they want to.
“The billionaires are funding their daughters through the circuits and through life.”
Jennifer Gates, Charlotte Casiragni, Georgina Bloomberg, and Reed Kessler rise to the top of their divisions, as they prance around on their dreamworthy horses. At 18 years old, Reed Kessler became the youngest rider in show jumping history to ever compete at the Olympic Games. Her parents, being the multimillionaires (possibly billionaires) they are, could afford to buy and pay Reed top of the line horses and trainers.
Imagine a world full of horse shows that don’t judge the horse’s length of stride or merely on the way they look. A world where it is equal; as Thomas Jefferson once said, “All men are created equal.” If this is the rule we are truly supposed to live by, why doesn’t it apply?
We are not judged fairly, we are not given equal opportunities to prove ourselves to the judges, and we are most certainly not all of the same wealth. A new and upcoming way of competing has blossomed from the roots of riding.
It’s called the Interscholastic Equestrian Association or IEA for short. It is a show where all the competitors are taken to a barn and given horses of the same caliber to ride. With all of them being equal, and it not being the rider’s personal horse, the judge is finally only allowed to judge the rider and not the horse. If this becomes as popular as regular horse shows, it would finally give the people of average wealth in the US a chance to enjoy the sport they love.
Well, I guess to wrap up my rant about the unfairness of the various judging techniques, people eventually get adjusted to it and just accept that it will be hard as heck to rise to the top because the wealthy are favored. The wealthy people all around the world maintain control over the scoring; they mostly win and we mostly lose. Sports are supposed to be judged on how much time you dedicate and how much effort you are willing to put in; but instead this, it is based on how much money you’re willing to spend. But in the end, the elite equestrians “may be young, rich, and beautiful, but it takes more than fresh looks and a bank account to ride at the Olympic level.”