Few characteristics say more about a person than his or her ability to put others first.
We are hard-wired to care more about ourselves than others, but what kind of life would we lead if we never separated ourselves from that mentality?
I think with maturity comes an understanding that you are not more important than anyone else on this earth; we should be here for each other. We should help each other and protect each other and think about others when we make decisions. We should stop talking about ourselves long enough to ask others about themselves.
It’s always more fulfilling to do something for another person than to do it for yourself.
Here’s a topic I’ve been thinking about lately, as I’ve officially passed the midway point in my college career. Everyone tells me what I should do during my college years—to make the most of my experience, to travel abroad, to build my resume, to make my grad school applications look better.
Well, I don’t exactly appreciate being told what to do and I definitely don’t appreciate being made to feel like I’m not taking advantage of my youth or education. I am successful enough for me. There’s a lot of pressure out there to succeed, and I’ve been trying to avoid that mentality for a few years now. It’s not worth the stress.
I think success means something different for everybody. Never compare your life to the lives of others; we are all different and capable of vastly different things. One person may look down upon your life because you have never done X or Y, but maybe you are an expert at Z and that person has never even heard of it.
Do what makes you happy, and you will be successful enough for you.
People in general tend to overreact when things don’t go their way. I do it, too, but it’s something I think we should all work on.
Your phone broke? Well, it was a phone. It is extremely replaceable. It does not matter.
You’re having a bad day, but can’t pinpoint why? Stop and appreciate the things you have. Do not focus on the negatives. Do not compare yourself to others.
Real crises are few and far between. Money and tangible objects are nothing to waste energy being upset about. You are still a person with intrinsic value, even if all those things are taken from you. You still have the ability to form meaningful relationships with others, to think about ideas that are bigger than yourself, and to solve problems and make the world a better place for us all.
As long as you can pull yourself up, you must continue moving onward. Leave problems in the past as often as possible. Love the people you have in your life, or find others.
So next time you are upset, ask yourself “does this really matter?” Or, in the words of Sharon Creech, “In the course of a lifetime, what does it matter?”
It’s been said that knowledge engenders sadness, even an inability to appreciate beauty. If you over-analyze a flower, if you understand it “too well,” you can never admire it with the same fervency as a layperson who stumbles across it on a walk. Everything in nature becomes a case study, an experiment, an equation—it cannot simply be.
But I think that logic has some gaping holes.
The more I know about the intricacies of nature and the specific processes that create the beauty around us, the more I appreciate the amount of work and time and energy that went into creating it. Everything in our world is so delicately connected, every pattern in nature so precisely measured, that it’s a miracle it even exists so beautifully in the first place.
So no, I don’t believe knowledge destroys one’s ability to appreciate beauty. Yes, the more you know, the more your view of nature changes, but not necessarily for the worse. Maybe you will understand the problems we face in light of the ecological damage currently being inflicted upon the earth, but maybe you will also be amazed by the resiliency of the remaining processes that exist —and even flourish— despite that damage.
Far too often do people who claim to be “tolerant” berate those who are not.
Is it just me or is that hypocrisy at it’s finest?
You don’t have to get along with everyone. No one does. You don’t have to agree with everyone—that’s virtually impossible. You definitely don’t have to like everyone. Just be who you are and let others be who they are.
No one has the right to tell another person what to believe.
And yes, I understand the irony of that statement, but I’m writing this for myself.
There’s something to appreciate in every belief. Even if it’s just a passionate stance about an issue, however strange or wrong it may seem to you.
“Surround yourself with beautiful things, and you will find happiness.”
It can be an old picture, a post card from a friend, a single flower. A blanket made from soft yarn. A warm loaf of bread. Appreciate the beauty in everything, and you will find you are always surrounded by beauty. And then you should always be happy, no?
Just remember to choose what you think of as beautiful— there’s no universal definition.