I brought this book to the beach for Labor Day weekend thinking it would be a relaxing read, but it was far from my usual beach material. I was entranced immediately by Anita Shreve’s storytelling style, how she made me feel like I was in Kathryn’s house with her as she got the devastating news in the very first chapter. This book was written with the perfect lens, putting us close enough to the action to feel their pain but letting us observe what is happening for ourselves. I only put this book down to take a nap; otherwise I read it in one quick sitting. Continue reading “Review—The Pilot’s Wife”
Another awesome book I got for Christmas was A Separate Peace by John Knowles. This book is set in the World War Two time period. The main character, Gene, is sixteen years old and attends boarding school. The book details their relationship during the summer and the following school year and shows the intense consequences of Gene’s actions.
WARNING: SPOILERS ALERT Continue reading “Review-A Separate Peace”
We can’t control the circumstances under which we meet people.
We all have the picture-perfect life planned out in our heads. The house, the city, the family, the job, the money… But we know it won’t happen exactly like this. So why do we bother having these impossible ideals?
Because it makes us feel better about our uncertain future. It makes us think we have some lingering bit of control over what will become of our existence. But the truth is, our lives are shaped by the people around us and how we interact with them. As much as we think we have power over how our lives turn out, it’s heavily influenced by those around us.
Sometimes it’s an inconvenient time in our life to meet somebody. Sometimes we are convinced that kind of person never would be a good match with our personality. We never know who could be the person to heal us, fix us, love us, warm us, so we have to be open and kind and accepting.
It doesn’t matter if a particular person isn’t what you’d expected, or hoped for, or imagined. What matters is they are here, now, and so are you. Either you have a relationship or you don’t. And that makes all the difference.
I’ve been so busy with school I haven’t been able to be very active lately. But writing and blogging is important to me, so starting now I will make sure there is time for it. As I should have been doing from the start. My apologies.
Anyways, to turn a fresh page, here’s a poem I really like 🙂
I know I am but summer to your heart,
And not the full four seasons of the year;
And you must welcome from another part
Such noble moods as are not mine, my dear.
No gracious weight of golden fruits to sell
Have I, nor any wise and wintry thing;
And I have loved you all too long and well
To carry still the high sweet breast of Spring.
Wherefore I say: O love, as summer goes,
I must be gone, steal forth with silent drums,
That you may hail anew the bird and rose
When I come back to you, as summer comes.
Else will you seek, at some not distant time,
Even your summer in another clime.
~Edna St. Vincent Millay
Last night, as part of my Freshmen Orientation, I was required to go to “Seahawk Nation: A Diversity Event”. The rest of the day had been filled with boring lectures about campus safety, so I wasn’t expecting much. I showed up at 6:45, grumbling to myself, and took a seat. But as soon as the speaker started her presentation, I was so blown away. Dr. Maura Cullen was full of life and engaging activities for her listeners and as she spoke, she walked around so animatedly, I couldn’t help but pay attention to her.
I’m not one for diversity speeches. I don’t believe in affirmative action and I’m not fond of talking about how special certain groups of people are. I subscribe to the idea that everyone is equal, including minorities, including majorities, including everything in between. And I think the only way to end racism is to ignore race.
I was pleasantly surprised by what Dr. Maura had to say. She made her speech about how to be a kind person, how to be nice to others around you, and how to be considerate in your actions and words. She was mainly concerned with trying to understand other people’s backgrounds, situations and difficulties and not judging people based on appearances. I thought this was a refreshing way to talk about diversity. She wanted to celebrate every single individual as they are. Her message was to be kinder than necessary, because everyone has a different story and you can’t judge someone else’s experiences because they are not your own. Everyone has their own struggles to get through, some more than others. But none of that makes anyone better than anyone else.
She also emphasized how much of an impact a single person can make on another’s life. Sometimes, someone is on the edge of a bad situation or a bad day and even just a smile or a kind word in passing can change that, let alone a listening ear or a crying shoulder. Being there for people is really important. Going out of your way to help those less fortunate than ourselves is our duty as humans. And that made me really conscious about my own actions and what I could do more of.
Why am I worrying about saying hi to the person sitting next to me? Why am I worrying that they’ll judge me? The best thing to do is be overly nice and friendly, even when it feels dumb, because you never know which person was having a really hard time and just needed someone to talk to, even if it’s a shallow conversation. Human interaction shows people that they are loved and cared for. Unconditional love and acceptance is crucial to feel like we belong in society. Friends only become loved ones when they truly see who we are and accept us anyways, so we have to not judge and we have to love.
I could never put these ideas into words as well as Dr. Maura did, but I encourage you to check out her website in the link above. She is really inspirational. What have you done to make someone feel loved or cared for? Ever wish someone was there for you and noticed you felt alone? Just how big is the power of acceptance and love?