By Lori Bowes
As I found my mind wandering off into space while talking to a friend of mine the other day, I began to think of how very petty many of my conversations are, and continue to be, in day-to-day life. The topic of conversation I am talking about was what color iPhone a friend would be getting. Whether it would be white with gold, white with silver, or gasp! black with silver (which said friend thought wouldn’t be suitable for said phone, and would most likely look better on an iPad). While I could get into a whole other conversation about all of the problems with that statement, I would like to address the issue of mindfulness and of being aware of the things you have, and sometimes do not always need.
I’m not trying to belittle or put down this friend of mine, and I don’t want to. We’re all humans and we will do and say things that are far from intelligent or important many, many times in our lives. I know I’ve said and thought my fair share of selfish things during this holiday.
I certainly understand that these are some of the trivial, meaningless conversations people have in everyday life (albeit people who have the privilege of even discussing the matters of a $400 small device that happens to have complete power over the consumer industry). But I also worry at the same time. How are these small conversations, linked seemingly incongruously to each other, shaping me as a person? I surely wouldn’t want to look back at my early high school life thirty years from now and think, Boy, I sure did waste my time talking about pointless things, and for that matter, thinking and doing pointless things.
I fully realize that I do attend a highly respected college-prep school with many other promising, bright individuals. I know that we do a lot to make this school a one of a kind experience and to make our students think beyond the capacity of our little bubble we call high school. But I think we, as a student body and school, have the ability to go above and beyond all of that. I wish for us to do more, see more, experience more, and then when all of that is said and done, do it all over again, because that’s all that life is really about: enjoying the simpler things and enjoying the company of others.
There are so many more things to be focused on besides the kind of finish you will get on your new iPhone 6 or those new shoes you’ve been eyeing online since November. The holidays may seem like a big old production of selling and buying and giving and receiving, because frankly, it is. But it’s also so much more than that. And attempting to sound not so clichéd while writing this, there is so much more to be grateful for and appreciative of than all of those bright and shiny packages wrapped near the fireplace.
There is a whole world full of intangible experiences and beings that many of us, including me, have not even begun to imagine what would be like. And that’s okay. But for right now, while our brains are still sharp and our heads full of wonder and anticipation for what’s beyond the horizon, we need to embrace the not so extravagant things. We need to live in the moment and attempt to enjoy the simple things that surround us every day. If we choose to overlook them and ignore the urges to look for adventure and zest in life, we will have no choice but to go back to our monotonous lives, living in passivity and boredom and never truly knowing what we should be grateful for.
So as everyone packs up and leaves after the bittersweet accomplishment of finally finishing finals and goes home to their families, enjoying the warmth and love and relaxation, we should all take a moment to appreciate what we have. And that doesn’t mean the nice computer perched upon your lap, or the headphones around your neck, but the things that can’t always be given: a loving and supportive family, long-lasting friendships, and the opportunities that we hold at this young and ripe age in our lives. Be thankful for the many things you do have and have a lovely and memorable holiday.
Image source: http://clubelitetampa.com/home-design/decorated-christmas-trees/attachment/decorated-christmas-trees-decorating_the_christmas_tree/