Most of my posts have been pertaining to graduation and senior year recently. It is most likely because I am chomping at the bit to graduate as it is happening in just two short weeks. I was reflecting over all the accomplishments I had achieved over my high school career when I realized something.
Those achievements mean nothing if you do not have people surrounding you to support you and cheer you on. Supporting one another and being genuinely happy for the accomplishments in which they achieve is what is beautiful about the situation. Unfortunately that does not occur very often. Instead, people become jealous.
I have been reading more the past couple weeks that I have in awhile. I have been hooked on poetry; I went to the bookstore and picked up the book “Milk and Honey” by Rupi Kaur. It is raw with emotion. It was not what I was expecting but it was brilliant. There was one page of her poetry that caught my eye towards the end.
“What terrifies me most is how we / foam at the mouth with envy / when other succeed / but sigh in relief / when they are failing / our struggle to / celebrate each other is / what’s proven most difficult / in being human” (Kaur).
I sat and stewed on that concept the words revealed. I realized that that is miraculously true. I was saddened by the reality that often times it is more accurate than someone being genuinely happy for a success of another human. I can even be honest in saying that I am a culprit of this on occasions.
I think that as I enter into a time of award ceremonies, graduation, and open houses, I want to celebrate people with my full heart. Like I mentioned earlier, the achievement mean so much more when there is a crowd of people beside you cheering you on along the way. I cannot even imagine what it would feel like to have a crowd of people cheering you along who are just as excited for you as if they themselves have achieved it.
My challenge for not only myself but also others is to appreciate the achievements of others–be proud of them like you are proud of yourself when you overcome an obstacle.
Be selfless in order to not be selfish.
When I think of poetry, I think of words forming into a rhythm or the first step of creating a song. Growing up, I enjoyed poetry, but felt it was difficult to write as I felt that it was a requirement to rhyme. As my appreciation for poetry has grown so has my knowledge on the subject. Throughout my adventure of exploring poets, I have connected to one poet more than others. The one that made the most impact to me on a personal level is Maggie Nelson for multiple reasons.
Maggie Nelson’s bio on the website Lit Hub gripped my attention immediately. It stuck out like a neon shirt in a room full of people wearing black. The very first line explains that she questions the concept of profound poets becoming well known after they die. I immediately connected with her because I have asked myself that so many times. Walt Whitman never received the appreciation he deserved until a significant amount of time after he passed. The line that stuck out to me the most within her bio states, “It’s almost like people are finally awake to the news that poetry is reliably six seconds ahead of wherever this insane place called America is heading.” I reread that line multiple times before I was able to digest the true meaning. Poetry is ahead of the actions of this world. If you look at her poetry, she creates it almost in an artistic way. I love art so immediately I connected to her artistic ability. Many people do not realize that words can create art as well.
I love the way she formatted her words as well as how simple her poem is. She used simple words with a hint of more articulate words to form a product that had a deep meaning. Nelson writes, “I feel like the girl / in the late-night movie / who gazes up in horror / at the portrait of / her freaky ancestor / as she realizes / they wear the same / gaudy pendant / round their necks” (Nelson). I adore this line because it reminds me of a memory from when I was younger. I used to think that the pictures of people from history were intimidating. As I read her poem I could picture a snapshot immediately surfaced in my head. Her simple yet elegant style of getting her point across is refreshing. I would love to reflect some of my own poems to her works of art. She challenges me to look past the rhyming poems to something much more artistic.
Listening to Shame TedTalk
What if we jumped at the opportunity to open up and share to any stranger?
I think if that what if were applicable, the world would look very different. In a world where there are many people with many different backgrounds comes many different opinions. Somewhere along the line we lost sight that being different was okay. Society has created a right and wrong or black and white mentality. When someone does not conform to that, they are shunned. The truth of the matter is that there will never be a way to fit every person into two separate groups.
When we recognize that it is okay to be different, I think we run into a society where people are more apt to understand one another. When people aren’t afraid to be vulnerable, massive greatness could emerge. It is kind of like the domino effect; when people are vulnerable and share, others will find themselves understanding one another. That is when empathy is introduced. Brene Brown performs a TedTalk that exhibits the breakdown of vulnerability and the potential it has. Brown states, “If you put shame in a Petri dish, it needs three things to grow exponentially: secrecy, silence and judgment. If you put the same amount in a Petri dish and douse it with empathy, it can’t survive” (Brown).
Shame is within every human. Some may disagree with me, but I truly believe there is shame in the soul of every human; however, I think some choose to distract themselves from it. Shame is powerful because it silently cuts away at a person. As I mentioned earlier, we live among people who, regardless of there morality level or success, make mistakes. If everyone is making mistakes then why are we so afraid to share with one another?
It’s ironic because shame gains more power through silence, yet we remain silent. What if we as humans were able to win the battle against shame by simply fighting back? What if we made a mistake and we shared it with someone immediately? What if we jumped at every opportunity to open up with one another and seek comfort rather than shame? Brown states, “The two most powerful words when we’re in struggle: me too” (Brown).
Instead of slowly killing ourselves, lets stop talking and start listening. Once we are able to start listening, empathy will grow and there will be no room for shame. In my opinion, that is a life worth living.