A Little Appreciation for the World

Iman Baber

I get it. The world can be depressing sometimes.

Stuck in the same routine day after day, it can be hard to see any positivity. The dark, negative things in life seem overwhelming, and often drown out the light. Being pessimistic becomes a habit. Making morbid jokes is an everyday thing. The #ihatemylife trend defines who we are.

After being fed with bleak, dreary thoughts day after day after day, there almost seems no space for much else. People always say: enjoy the little things; live life in the moment. But that may seem impossible when one moment you are rushed to school and the next you find yourself cramming in some homework before you are thrown into your next activity.

I understand. We all feel on the brink of the breaking point, on the edge of a knife. But I’m here to tell you that life is meant to be enjoyed. Enjoying it may not be as hard as it seems.

The first week of winter break, my family and I went on a long road trip. It was really fun, having a whole week without any stress about school on my mind. But it wasn’t only the amazing places we visited that made it so enjoyable. It was also the tiny, beautiful moments.

The wind softly rustling tall evergreen trees.

The sun reflecting off of the glittering snow.

How my entire family would sing our favorite songs together at the top of our lungs.

The frustrating yet humorous moment when my sister beat me for the fifth time in a row at cards.

I started noticing these minute details at home and at school, too. Details that I may have never noticed or acknowledged. And our daily lives are filled with these fine points that make life richer and more meaningful. But most of us discredit them, set in our ways of saying  “the world is bad”. As residents of Santa Clarita, I feel that we are so privileged to live in a community where there is access to everything we could ask for — food, water, education, electricity, entertainment — in a world where many children don’t have these basic freedoms. Many children risk their lives going to and from school. Many children don’t know whether they are going to have a meal on their table. Many children have died struggling for their rights. We should feel thankful that we have so many opportunities, and have free time to enjoy them. And we just have to learn how to take these opportunities, and live life to the fullest.

Now, I’m not saying that your problems mean nothing. Because they do mean something. Everyone is fighting their own battle in life. But I encourage you to take a step back and look at things from a new angle. Nothing is as bad as it seems. Even problems that seem too big to solve. As a society, I believe that we have come so far as to solving our dilemmas. So many world issues are being talked about, and even more people all across the globe are taking action.

We, as students, must conquer our problems the same way. By taking action. And it doesn’t have to be a big jump. Change can come by taking small initiatives, which over time add up to create lasting impacts. The first step is to commit to a goal. Then, think of something you can do to achieve that goal. It can be something as small as telling yourself that you can do it, that you are amazing, everyday. It may feel strange at first, but it will make a difference. Try to look at your problems from a different perspective. Tackle them in different ways. And take time to treat yourself. Acknowledge your hard work. Life goes by fast. Don’t let the wind knock you off your feet.

And if you are just about done, holding onto life by a fraying thread, feeling worn and torn between the many fast paced tracks of your life,stop, and breathe. Listen to the soft heaving of your breath. And think about those little savory moments: the details that make life so colorful. Things that make life worth living. Take a little time to cherish them.