Friday, April 25, 2014

The Hardest Lesson

     The hardest lesson I learned in high school wasn't found in a textbook, and I wasn't tested on it. It's not even something a teacher told me. The hardest lesson I learned in high school is that death isn't reserved for old age.
     Now I know that sounds incredibly morbid, but I don't think there is really a sugar-coated way of saying it, nor do I want to find one because it's a fact of life. I had always been taught that no one is guaranteed tomorrow, or even the next minute, but it's not something I ever really had to think about as a child. When I was a junior in high school, I was forced to think about the fragility of life because of events that occurred that affected me deeply, I didn't know how to process it. It seemed totally unfair and wrong to me that people who were young and had their whole lives ahead of them could suddenly just be gone. I struggled with it for a long time, trying to find the answer as to why some people's lives are cut short. It has taken me a long time to realize that I will never know that answer here on earth, and there is no one who can fully explain it to me. I had to learn to stop asking why, and start understanding that life is a gift that I should appreciate.
     What I eventually came to understand is that life on Earth is a temporary thing. Heaven is the ultimate destination, and Earth is just the journey. Knowing this, I realized that there is no time for anger or grudges. Every minute I spend being angry or harboring unforgiving feelings is a moment of happiness I have lost. I still fail at this a lot, but I try to remind myself that negative feelings are a waste of time. I also learned that I need to love people now, not when I have free time. There's always time to listen to someone who needs to talk, or to give a hug to someone who needs it.
     Something I'm still working on is learning to live in the moment. I can't change what happened yesterday, and tomorrow is still in the future, so I need to take time to appreciate today. I need to be present in the moment, and enjoy the things that are happening right now, instead of worrying about what could happen tomorrow.
    I guess what I'm trying to say is that I understand now that I don't have unlimited time in this life. I want the majority of the time I do have to be spent in a positive way, loving people and being happy as much as possible. Sure, sometimes bad things will happen and make me sad, and sometimes I will just be in a bad mood. But overall, I want to live life with the understanding that my small problems are not as important as they seem, and I want to always remember that love should be my top priority.


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