Editor finds gratitude at bottom of cynicism

Somehow, I’ve managed to find time to think. In between writing for the paper, sketch comedy rehearsals and trying to decipher my Organic Chemistry notes, I’ve been pondering a lot of serious things.  Olivia Newton John voice: let’s get cynical.

Please rewind to GIVE day and Gannon’s first home football game.  I spent the day with my best friend watching “The Fault in Our Stars” against my will.  While Chantal cried at the end, I looked at Hazel sitting in the grass and got violently angry.  I proceeded to explain to her how the story wasn’t a love story at all.  Sure, it’s an element, but I feel like John Green had other intentions.

I think Augustus Waters is really just a counterexample and testament to how terribly my generation behaves.  It took cancer for him to learn how to respect people.  Maybe that’s an exaggeration, but it’s a fair observation if nothing else.

Luckily, Green’s supposed cynicism is only a portion of this column.  It would be a lesser sin to leave you with blank paragraphs than continue on that rant.

Now fast forward to the present.  A lot of the friends I considered close this time last year are no longer even attending Gannon.  Chantal couldn’t return this semester and I found myself without my best friend.  We’ve tried to fix the gap with phone calls and texting, but it’s not the same.  She wouldn’t believe me, but I do miss the 11 p.m. Tim Horton’s runs and the 4 a.m. pancakes.

I was telling one of my professors earlier this week it’s scary to think about how temporary life is.  People are not constants, which is a good thing, but humans tend to rely on consistency.  So what happens when the things you counted on fall through?

Circumstances change.  People change.  Put those two together and you find the reason couples break up and college sophomores find themselves utterly lost.

I’ve taken enough biology credits to know individuals can’t evolve, but they definitely adapt.  I’m not sure I’ve adapted my social life, let alone become accustomed to my classes this semester.

It’s only been a month.  There were, however, lessons learned as I went about January in a stress-induced daze. One of the most important is not to take anything or anyone for granted.

The simplest way to practice this is with good old-fashioned manners.  I’m not just talking about remembering “please” and “thank you” when you go out to eat.  Those things are good, but when was the last time you thanked your mom for dinner?  What about your teacher for answering a question? Your friends for buying a gallon of ice cream?

I don’t mean to sound preachy.  Think of these as examples of how you could be genuine.  I don’t believe in the hedonistic “you only live once” and “carpe diem” mentalities that, while meant to praise spontaneity, seem to encourage acting for pleasure. Still, I think it’s important to seize the day.

Grab each turn of the calendar with gratitude.  This will help you remember what’s important when the rest of the world seems to be cracking shambles about your feet.  We need something to keep us grounded in a world without characters like Augustus Waters.



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