A Short Discussion of Life

What is different?

There are some people who have told me that life is mundane. Once you leave
school, you get into the daily grind of things. Life gets repetitive, work gets
boring, and people all seem to do the same thing over and over again. What is to
differentiate the neverending stream of tedious day to day life? The life of the party,
the life of the free spirit, the life of someone who lives with no regrets even though
in his dreams he regrets every night of his life.

I always thought that this is what life would turn into. I was dreading the day when
I graduated from high school because then what would I do? I would go to college, sure!
But that’s just another round of the daily grind with classes that are much more difficult
than they were in the last round.

But then I thought about the reality of existence, if you will. Although we are all teh same
on a biological level and a chemical level, each one of us has our own personality, our own
hobbies, our own likes and dislikes, our own pasttimes and our own will to think about whatever we please. Knowing this, I have created a small goal for myself: be different.

Being different doesn’t have to be extreme. Some people seem to come to the conclusion that
being different consists of dressing in bold colors and flaunting every wacky thing about one’s personality. What if that’s not being different, though? What if being different is just doing the small things that no one else does. For instance, what if someone actually cared about your day when they asked how you were doing. What if that person standing next to you
on the subway decided to talk to you? What if someone walked tall and proud and seemed
to ignore the troubles that were happening within the world. What if somebody’s sole
goal in life was not to participate in the society that we have created, but by rebelling against it,
change it. This is what I want to do.

The Process

Currently, I sit atop a hill in Dolores park in San Francisco. I am alone. I am on my laptop.
I am typing in vim. I am not smoking, I am not drinking, but merely taking in the atmosphere,
admiring the city, and writing my thoughts on life. I think that this on its own is different.

But it’s also insipiring. As I sit, I realize that life is a very short adventure that each
individual is forced to live. Although there is definitely a pessimistic side to that story,
I think it is in everyone’s best interest to make the best of every event that comes their way. By
doing so, one will unintentionally change the world. For instance, if everyone around you is complaining about the cold weather, be the one to suggest that the cold bring everyone together in the warmth of your own home. It may not seem like a change, per se, but let’s take a moment to analyze it. Each person within that scenario seems to mull within their own depression. Everyone’s sadness is being reflected onto the people around them, making the situation even worse. Although it is definitely easy to give into the sadness and agree with everyone that cold days are indeed something worth complaining about, why not be the one to change everyone’s viewpoint, feelings, and day?

This, I think, is the best way to go about any situation.

The Bigger Picture

Imagine if everyday you went about your daily events in this fashion. Imagine if you looked at
every event and asked yourself what you truly felt, what made you happy, and what you could
do that you wouldn’t regret in the morning. With this viewpoint, life is a neverending adventure
that is to be discovered. You never know whose life you will be able to change by simply being
different. Of course, the difference here is not that you’re boasting your unusually positive spirit, but it is instead that you are being genuine. You are saying what you are actually thinking. That, believe it or not, is one of the rarest traits that I have come across in a person.

If something as simple as picking up trash can start an environmental movement, speaking
and acting in accordance with your thoughts and feelings is more than likely to start
something else. A social revolution perhaps? Maybe., but only if you stick to your goals
and continue to work hard.

The Work

I think that the main determining factor of the success of this life philosophy is not how much
work you put into it, but rather, how passionate you are about the work. As long as you are passionate about being positive, affecting the lives of others, and making an impact in your small world, things will change. If the passion is not there, however, it is quite easy to picture how quickly the kindness will lost its effect.

This is not only true with this particular aspect of life, but it remains true in the world
of careers as well. For instance, a person who is passionate about their work is more likely
to create a unique product that does not yet know its market. A person who is passionate is willing to take more risks when it comes to the development of a product. To them, however, it is not development, but rather the materialization of a dream.

Often times, people say that I have passion. That is what separates me from those around me.
I am passionate about computer science, the world, those that I love, and thoe around me. I
want to make a lasting impact on the world, and I think all of the work described above is
worth the risk of having a very rewarding outcome of a world that was influenced by my actions.

The Outcome

Each person has roughly 85 years to live. During this time, the first eighteen are spent
stuck in a path of life that is predetermined by the governments of our country. Because of this, I believe it is necessary to truly work hard in life. What makes me say this? Let’s put it this way: Hundres of people die every day, but it is only once in a while that you hear of someone actually passing away.

Why? Because this person has made an impact on the world as a whole. Whether it be Michael Jackson, Carl Sagan, or Martin Luther King Jr, these people are remembered long after their passing because their time on earth was not wasted, but very well spent. I think that the moments of their lives that were spent changing the world are the moments that we should all channel into our own lives.

Think about it. If someone spent their entire lives contributing to something as much as Carl Sagan did to the fields of astronomy and astrophysics, the chances of them accomplishing something worthwhile are very, very high. After their death, their accomplishments and contributions to the world will surely be rewarded.

At the age of 19, people have told me that I am too young to be thinking about this. I should
instead be enjoying life, having fun, and doing things that will make for crazy stories in the
future. By this, of course, people mean that I should be socializing, partying, and voiding the
morals that I have upheld for the past 19 years of my life. However, crazy stories don’t have
to fall into the same categories as everyone elses’ stories. How boring would it be if everyones’
crazy stories were nearly identical. For instance, how boring would it be if all people had to
boast about followed the template of last night I got so drunk I did X. Well, although it may not be true, that is what I see. I see a world in which most people do the same thing as one another. Thus, these crazy stories aren’t so crazy afterall. That lack the one thing that would make them crazy: uniqueness.

Thus, I want to be that person with the unique stories. I want to always be able to say that I
have accomplished something that most people have not even thought of accomplishing. I want to say that I’m unique. I want to say that I’m different. If this is done for a long
enough period of time, I believe that it will be a very rewarding experience.

Not only that, though. I believe that I truly will change the world. Because let’s face it,
a world without change is boring. So why not work to turn it into something you will always enjoy?


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