Don't lead an unexamined life
This year has passed as it always has, and New Year's Day looms in the not-so-distant future. All across America, the young and old shall begin to make a list of resolutions.
I can remember, when I was a child, being required by classroom prompts or a curious parent to formulate my personal goals, or resolutions, for the upcoming year.
My young mind not only saw the problems that I had either created or suffered through, but I also began to recognize their causes and the ways in which I might be able to avoid them in the future. These instances were the first occasions that I ever stopped to look at my life objectively for what it really was.
Many of us have also experienced the unbiased review of the year as it comes to a close. But it's another thing altogether to see beyond these regrets and fresh pains and learn from them. Even still, it is another thing to look at the value of these events and add perspective to them in order to learn about the core of the problem and the core of ourselves and those involved.
As infants, we could see the good and bad consequences of our actions and, on some level, we learned from them. However, when we grow into adults, we have the opportunity to analyze and grow and change with these memories in mind. Thereby, we teach ourselves about our own nature and, finally, we can improve our circumstances based upon this newly acquired knowledge. We can make plans, similar to resolutions, to change our lives.
New Year's Day is the optimal time for putting down these plans, but it's not the only time over the course of the year that we can take a step back and reevaluate our lives up to that moment. Constantly, everyone is leaving one stage of life and entering another. Students may be leaving home and going off the college and adults may be moving to a new city or having another dreaded birthday.
The opportunities for meditation and planning are endless, and I believe that if they are implemented, their positive outcome may be even greater. With practice and continuous effort, the focus continues to sharpen and the determination becomes habit.
Long has it been popular belief that the only constant is change. Whether it be for the better or worse, we have to deal with it in the ways we know how. To do our best as humans as well as students, employees, employers, family members, neighbors and friends, we must first look at ourselves. We can't control what anyone else does, but we can continuously monitor our relationship with ourselves, others and our surroundings.
T.J. Scott is a senior at the Marysville Charter Academy for the Arts. Her column appears every six weeks in Education.