Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Carpe Diem

         Well I don't really have any excuses for not blogging. I honestly didn't really want to. Besides being on Pinterest all day, I have been viciously trying to get my grades up for the end of the term. I know what you are probably thinking, they should already be good. I can't say that I am the greatest student ever, because I am not. However my grades in Humanities are the ones that I am particularly proud of. Humanities is a combined English and history class where I learn many useful things pertaining to life. We actually read an amazing speech by David McCullough Jr. given to a graduating high school class called "You're not Special." 

          At first I was a little offended. Who was this strange man to tell me that I wasn't special or one in a million? Who made him mister high and mighty I didn't vote for him! My self esteem down graded I hesitatingly began to read it. I was hooked immediately. He mostly made me realize things about life that my little head wasn't able to comprehend before. The last two paragraphs stood out the most though. So instead of posting some link that half of you weren't going to click on anyway I have taken the liberty of giving it to you right here. You're welcome.

~The fulfilling life, the distinctive life, the relevant life, is an achievement, not something that will fall into your lap because you’re a nice person or mommy ordered it from the caterer. You’ll note the founding fathers took pains to secure your inalienable right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness–quite an active verb, “pursuit”–which leaves, I should think, little time for lying around watching parrots rollerskate on Youtube. The first President Roosevelt, the old rough rider, advocated the strenuous life. Mr. Thoreau wanted to drive life into a corner, to live deep and suck out all the marrow. The poet Mary Oliver tells us to row, row into the swirl and roil. Locally, someone... I forget who... from time to time encourages young scholars to carpe the heck out of the diem. The point is the same: get busy, have at it. Don’t wait for inspiration or passion to find you. Get up, get out, explore, find it yourself, and grab hold with both hands. (Now, before you dash off and get your YOLO tattoo, let me point out the illogic of that trendy little expression–because you can and should live not merely once, but every day of your life. Rather than You Only Live Once, it should be You Live Only Once... but because YLOO doesn’t have the same ring, we shrug and decide it doesn’t matter.)
None of this day-seizing, though, this YLOOing, should be interpreted as license for self-indulgence. Like accolades ought to be, the fulfilled life is a consequence, a gratifying byproduct. It’s what happens when you’re thinking about more important things. Climb the mountain not to plant your flag, but to embrace the challenge, enjoy the air and behold the view. Climb it so you can see the world, not so the world can see you. Go to Paris to be in Paris, not to cross it off your list and congratulate yourself for being worldly. Exercise free will and creative, independent thought not for the satisfactions they will bring you, but for the good they will do others, the rest of the 6.8 billion–and those who will follow them. And then you too will discover the great and curious truth of the human experience is that selflessness is the best thing you can do for yourself. The sweetest joys of life, then, come only with the recognition that you’re not special.

My mind was pretty much splattered on the walls by the end of it. But I tried to look intelligent like I had already thought profoundly about this on my own. But I hadn't. And it made me contemplate life. My all time favorite thing he says is Carpe the heck out of your Diem. I liked it so much that it is now all over my room. I don't want to waste my life. I want to seize the heck out of every day and make it the best it can be. Apparently my teachers liked it too, because they put it over the door. 

~A Short History Lesson~ After becoming Humanities teachers Newman the great and Duffin the um... Duffin decided upon a tradition. A tradition which consisted out of putting a wonderful quote above the door and everyone smacks it as they leave the classroom symbolizing taking what you have learned and taking it with you into the world.~

This gave me a lot of motivation to go out and live my life, not just halfway, but to live everyday to it's full potential. So thank you Newman and Duffin for remindiing me that I have something to live for. And thank you Mr. high and mighty for humbling me and pointing out my ignorance. 

YLOO! So go out and Carpe the Heck out of your Diem.

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