Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela – A non-violent activist, philanthropist, politician, and South Africa’s first black president. He had been imprisoned for 25 years and 8 months for his work of trying to get rid of apartheid in South Africa and was called a “terrorist” by the US government. You would think someone that was convicted with a life sentence and spend 27 years for a stupid reason would be annoyed and full of anger, but Nelson Mandela, “Madiba”, came out and tried 10 times harder to achieve the same thing that landed him in jail! He never gave up. He strived to achieve justice for inequality his whole life no matter the consequences. He believed in himself and he believed in the world’s justice system. Through the amazing fight he put up, he was able to achieve greatness; he became the first black president of Africa and with some help, was able to dismantle Africa’s apartheid system.
One of the hardest things to do in life is to maintain a positive attitude about yourself and to feel confident in your abilities especially when things are difficult or stressful. As a high school student myself, I witness this happening almost every single day. With midterms and university applications coming up, so many students doubt themselves (including me!) and worry about getting accepted into their dream university or getting the necessary marks required to go there. Even adults don’t believe in themselves and sell themselves short, for example thinking they’re not good enough for that big promotion at work or worrying they will fail miserably if they start a business. You are so quick to jump to the negatives and focus on why you are destined for failure that sometimes you don’t even give yourself a chance for success. If you, reading this, are one of those individuals with negative thoughts, I have a question for you...
Friendship is an extraordinarily unique type of feeling which is very different from just love. While it’s possible to be in love with someone and not be their best friend, it’s impossible to have friendship with someone and NOT love them. Take the example of your parents; while your parents are genetically hardwired to love you they are not necessarily your friends. The reason behind this is that while love just happens, you still have a bit of control when it comes to friendship.
I just finished reading this great classical book by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry called “The Little Prince” and in it I was reminded of a timeless lesson about dreaming big that I had to write about. In the book there is this really interesting character who is a child who dreams big and has great ideas but the grownups discourage him (much like how it often is in real life) and even go so far as labelling him as being “unrealistic” and “foolish”. This made me think – why is dreaming and going against the grain of society considered foolish? When isn’t it the “dreamers” that we ironically all look up to?
In dark times of distress or worry, I always search for inspiration in people that went against the grain and against all odds succeeded. I search for inspiration in people that went out on a limb and were not afraid of what other people thought of them or whether they would fail. I search for inspiration in those epic people who put their lives in danger to change the world and I also search for inspiration in very mundane scenarios such as that one girl in class that is confident and is not afraid to look foolish by asking too many questions...
School is VERY Important. I am sure you have probably heard every grown-up in your life tell you. But the honest truth is that schooling is an absolute fundamental step to a successful life. We sometimes take school and classes for granted. But we forget that by going to school you get a compressed crash course on the collective knowledge of mankind. By getting an education you “skip the line” and see further metaphorically by standing on the shoulders of giants who came before you. You are able to learn from the hard work, success, and failure of the billions of humans who came before you.
Dr. Seuss was a literary genius. His intelligence, wit, and talent for translating complex concepts into simple cartoons are what helped him sell over 600 million copies of children books. Growing up as a child who read a lot of books, Dr. Seuss was always a staple in my collection. Books such as the “The Cat in the Hat”, “One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish” and “Green Eggs and Ham” even today bring back those warm fuzzy feelings I got when I read them as a child.
Quotes are very powerful. On the surface, they are just a bunch of words but when you ponder over them they reveal powerful ideas that resonate with your very core. I mean someone did "quote" these words for a reason :). Personally, one of the biggest reasons why I love quotes is because of how relatable they can be.
Imagine living in a world where you are surrounded by thousands of people, but still feel completely alone. You can do anything you want and fulfill all of your dreams but no one around you cares. You meet hundreds of people every day but never feel a connection with any of them. Sounds pretty scary, doesn’t it? Without love, there is no life but we tend to take “LOVE” for granted.