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December 8, 2012

A Word of Advice: Find vibrancy in a black and white world

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The Daily Star

---- — People have become very good at pointing out the bad things that surround us in our lives. 

A person will remember the face of the person that stepped on her sneakers in a super market, but quickly forget that of the man that stopped to shake her hand on the way out the door. The world might be a dark place, for some devoid of color, but that’s solely because we make it that way.

People often want what they just can’t have, the grass is ALWAYS greener on the other side of life, settling for anything less than omnipotence in all aspects of life is just impossible for us human beings. Sometimes we just wanna have it all. Whether it be a lover, a new phone, a certain talent, we’re always inferior to others for lacking that certain X Factor everyone else seemingly possesses. The thing is, we’re looked at the same way by others. We all have things that others don’t, just as others have things that WE don’t. That’s what makes us all diverse, I mean, if we all brought the same exact things to the table, our world would be even more black and white than we perceive it to be!

Another “expectation’ we often hold ourselves to is for the entire world around us to love and care for us. Most people that think this though, don’t love themselves. You see, if you don’t even believe in yourself, how do you think you’re going to convince others to believe in you? It’s a paradox that we often just can’t overcome. We’re all ugly, we’re all dumb, we all exist solely to be targets on other people’s dartboards, but we only think that way when we fail to see the good in ourselves.   

 Our country for a long time now has been known as a melting pot of people, ideas and skill-sets. Now, this is actually a good thing. With all of the diverse thinkers, workers, movers and shakers our nation has had, we’ve grown to be the most powerful country on earth. Those people never went on to complain about how they were so different from other people, or that others were much greater than them. They took their strengths that they had and embraced them to a point they could fully utilize them to their maximum potentials, and that’s what made them revered by people the world over. 

Sure some people might’ve picked on them at some point in their lives for being a bit out there, a bit different from the crowd, but in the end, that’s what put them on top, and that’s what seemingly always puts people ahead of others, when people accept themselves and the strengths they possess and show them off to the world like they’re truly proud of them.

Take a minute and think to yourself, keeping positive, what makes you different? What defines who you are? I’m sure that you’d be able to at least find one thing, be it academic skills, your sense of humor, athletic ability or creativity in a certain craft. Now, think of how many people you think would actually want to possess that skill, or could benefit from it in some way. There are probably a lot of names in your head right now, so, it’s just good to know that you’re actually enviable, just like others.

Getting back to what I said earlier, we often take simple pleasure in life granted as well. Sometimes we overlook little things that make life great. A nice hot meal, a good conversation with a friend, even just petting a dog on the street, these are all things that are great, but we do so often that they’re forgettable when contrasted to tiny things that make us mad. This ignorance toward positivity in our modern day lives often leads to a negative look on life that lacks contrast, and the only way to restore that contrast is for once to look at all of the things we do day to day, every little act of kindness or gift of good fortune, and be thankful for them. 

After all, the holiday that just passed was all about that. So this holiday season, be thankful for yourself, and all of the little things, as well as those that make all of that possible. That’s the real way to light a candle in the dark we live in, and trust me, people flock to any light like moths, so on a final note, just remember to pass the good feeling onto others, so people can feel a bit good about themselves and you, too.

Austin Czechowski is a sophomore at Cobleskill-Richmondville High School. Would you like A Word of Advice from him? Send him an email at adviceaustin@gmail.com, or send him a letter to “Teen Talk: A Word of Advice,” C/O The Daily Star, P.O. Box 250, Oneonta, NY 13820. ‘Teen Talk’ columns can be found at www.thedailystar.com/teentalk.