Food For Thought

     “There will be hundreds of people out there with your same degree; there will be thousands of people doing what you want to do for a living. But you will be the only person alive who has sole custody of your life. Your particular life. Your entire life. Not just your life at a desk, or your life on a bus, or in a car, or at the computer. Not just the life of your minds, but the life of your heart. Not just your bank account, but your soul. People don’t talk about the soul very much anymore. It’s so much easier to write a resume than to craft a spirit. But a resume is a cold comfort on a winter night, or when you’re sad, or broke, or lonely, or when you’ve gotten back the test results and they’re not so good. So here is what I wanted to tell you today:

     Get a life. A real life, not a manic pursuit of the next promotion, the bigger paycheck, the larger house. Do you think you’d care so very much about those things if you blew an aneurysm one afternoon, or found a lump in your breast? Get a life in which you notice the smell of salt water pushing itself on a breeze over Seaside Heights, a life in which you stop and watch how a red-tailed hawk circles over the water gap or the way a baby scowls with concentration when she tries to pick up a cheerio with her thumb and first finger. Get a life in which you are not alone. Find people you love, and who love you. And remember that love is not leisure, it is work. Each time you look at your diploma, remember that you are still a student, still learning how to best treasure your connection to others. Pick up the phone. Send an e-mail. Write a letter. Kiss your Mom. Hug your Dad. Get a life in which you are generous. Look around at the azaleas in the suburban neighborhood where you grew up; look at a full moon hanging silver in a black, black sky on a cold night. And realize that life is the best thing ever, and that you have no business taking it for granted. Care so deeply about its goodness that you want to spread it around. Once in a while take money you would have spent on beers and give it to charity. Work in a soup kitchen. Be a big brother or sister. All of you want to do well. But if you do not do good, too, then doing well will never be enough.” -Anna Quindlen, NY Times columnist 


It is the end of the semester and students are frantically cramming for finals and knocking out papers.  It is the rush to get that final good grade to finish the semester the way you want.  Sometimes I think grades are so overrated, and so much more effort should be put on the information we’re learning.  We have this opportunity to receive a college education, and that experience is one that shouldn’t be taken for granted.  And with all that being said, while we’re soaking up all that knowledge, I think everyone should remember what Quindlen said in this commencement address.  There are so many little things in life that can be enjoyed.  So many times in the technology era that we are in we bury our heads in our smartphone or block out the world with headphones.  But there is so much more to life that that, and I think life is all about discovering that.  After all, magic is hidden in the simple things.


An Article Everyone Should Read

Before you click on this article and immediately exit out, I will warn you, yes, it is an article written by Joe Jonas.  But again, before that immediately turns you away, consider this: All celebrities are human.  All boy bands are a group of guys just trying to do what they love.  And everything is about perspective.

This article gives insight into the mind of a celebrity and musician.  One who is just trying to do what he loves, and just trying to be himself despite so many odds against him.  So many people look at how the media portrays something or someone and believes this to be fact.  Written in stone.  The only perspective.  But there’s so many ways to look at something, and sometimes all you need to do is change your perspective.

Yes, some celebrities let fame get to their head.  But that is not the case for everyone.  So many people hated the Jonas Brothers on principle.  They were a boy band with thousands of screaming teenage fans.  They got hate for every decision they made, from their purity rings, wanting privacy about relationships, their music and most recently, their final decision to break up.  However, there was a lot behind every one of those decisions.  There was emotion behind every song they wrote.  There was more to every story than met the eye, if people only changed their perspective to think about what it was like to live in their shoes.

I really respect this article by Joe.  I’m not saying I agree with every sentence he wrote.  But I do believe, it is a great article on perspective.  And that’s one thing I learned moving to Kansas for college.  It was a state I barely knew anything about and it never crossed my mind that one day I’d call it home.  If I had never kept an open mind to the change, I would have never had the perspective of living in Kansas, and now, I can’t imagine myself anywhere else.