BeeOasis Step 2
A long time ago, there was a young boy named George Washington. He had two older brothers. They were all very close. George often talked to his brothers about his dreams.
“I would like to be a sailor,” George said. “Then I could go to many strange lands and see many wonderful things. And, one day, I might become the captain of a ship.”
He was only fourteen years old. His older brothers thought it was a good idea. They said that a boy like George would learn quickly. He would soon become a captain. And one day, he might become a great admiral. As an admiral, he would command many ships.
So the boys decided to help George. His brothers knew the master of a trading ship. The ship was getting ready to sail to England. The master of the ship agreed to take George with him and teach him how to be a good sailor.
George’s mother was very sad. His uncle wrote her a letter. He said, “Do not let him go to sea. If he starts out as a common sailor, he will never be anything else.”
But George had made up his mind to go. He was determined. He would not listen to anyone who tried to persuade him to stay at home.
At last, the day came for the ship to sail. It was waiting in the river. At the door of his house, George gave the box that held his clothing to a sailor, and the sailor carried the box down to the boat.
George was happy at the thought of going.
“Goodbye, mother,” he said.
He stood at the door of his house and looked at the kind faces of his family. He loved them very much, and he would miss them. He began to feel very sad.
“Goodbye, my dear boy!”
George saw the tears in his mother’s eyes. He saw them rolling down her face. He knew that she did not want him to go. He did not like to see her so sad.
He stood still for a moment, thinking. Then he turned quickly and said, “Mother, I have changed my mind. I will stay at home with you.”
Then he called to the boy who was waiting at the door. George told the boy, “Please go down to the shore and tell them not to put my box in the boat. Send word to the master of the ship. Tell him not to wait for me. I have changed my mind. I am not going to sea.”
Later we know that George Washington became a very famous American. He lead the Americans in their war of independence from the British. Some say that he was the “first in war, the first in peace, and first in the hearts of his men.”
He became the first American President. Even today, many people respect him.
Yet on that day long ago, George made a choice. It was one lone choice, but it changed everything in his life, and perhaps it also changed everything in the course of history.
It was just one lone choice.
This story is adapted from Fifty Famous People by James Baldwin.