Opinion column: Just think about it

By Angela Loiacono

I sat down to write my column this week with absolutely no idea what to write about. A 650-word column doesn’t seem too daunting until you can’t decide the topic you wish to address. Although ideas ran through my head, I seemed to dismiss them. But, I did make one decision. I wanted this week’s column to be profound – to affect the people reading it and make them think about themselves as well as others. I hope it does just that.

As I began this week, I quickly found myself in a world comparable to a fiery ring of hell. Everyone knows the story – too much to do, too much to think about and, of course, unexpected drama that has to come at the worst time.

As I walked back from my physics exam, I contemplated moving to Fiji to get my mind off the massive amount of work that awaited me. The very last thing I wanted was to get locked into a conversation. I already feared that my daily showers were taking up too much time, and I have considered foregoing sleep to allocate my time better. But as God wanted it, or so I believe, I ended up sitting down with some friends for an insightful and rather deep conversation – one from which I greatly benefited.

I quickly realized the mistake I had been making. I had let school get in the way of college, homework hinder my mood and stress take over my day. Just as I have, many of us have become so caught up in the bustling world around us, we have forgotten to rank our priorities. Sometimes everyone needs to be reminded of the things that really matter and of the things that never should have meant anything in the first place.

First of all, I’ve come to the conclusion that we live in an era that has taken aspects of life and caused them to have little meaning. Many of us have gotten so caught up in making a career for ourselves, we have forgotten to have a life. We have put such a strong focus on the future of technology, we don’t see the amazing things that happen every day. We easily go out to eat, but we can’t find the money to feed the homeless man on the corner. We spend time going out to the bars, but we can’t get out of bed for mass on Sunday. The meaning of helping others has diminished, and many people only look to help themselves.

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    Everyone needs to get back in the routine of smiling at those that pass you on the sidewalk and holding the door open for those with their hands full. Value needs to go back into the wonderful power of laughter and its ability to make you happy. Happiness needs to go back to being associated with making those around you happy. And it almost goes without saying that it is my genuine hope that people have not forgotten what it feels like to love someone unconditionally and be loved the same in return.

    We need to cherish the time we have with people and make the most of it. We need to forget about looking like a model in a magazine and recognize that we are loved and privileged with what we have. We must learn from our poor experiences and help others through theirs. There is so much love in a hug, so much value in a phone call and so much hope in the lives of everyone. We must recognize our opportunities, seize them and make the most of everything we can. Life does only happen once.