2016. The year many are grateful is over and possibly wish to forget all together. I don’t speak much on social media about issues throughout the year for good reasons. Speaking hastily on matters can often lead to misinterpretations which creates more unwanted drama. Then again, not speaking quick enough can create the implication of being apathetic. It’s more of a struggle to speak your option or even give wisdom during these times than it was just a few decades ago. Social media was still an infant and people were allowed to think before they spoke. Just in the past couple of years, the art of thinking before you speak has gone by the wayside of society and it’s understandable with having information instantly at your fingertips. The speed of broadcasting doesn't allow people to stop for a moment and process what they've seen or heard. In this overly wordy post of the New Year, I will give some simplistic advice with the help of some choice words from the works of Robert Frost. As a disclaimer, I would like to say that I am more of a speaker than a writer, my grammar is not the greatest, and a thesaurus should probably be readily available.
The last time poems were persistent on not letting me forget about them was eleven years ago as a high school senior. My Senior English paper was the biggest hurdle I had to jump over before graduating. Robert Frost’s “Mending Wall” has been on repeat since mid-year and it seems rather fitting during these times as we start to remove the blindfolds to what we have done so well of keeping relatively “hidden." For so long we have put up walls to keep people and ideas from entering our lives with 2016 becoming that “Something there is that doesn’t love a wall.” The ending showed us just how divided we are nationally if not globally yet this is nothing new, we’ve just gotten pretty good at suppressing it. A all of the bad that has been publicly addressed through videos and articles on social media, we started learning how to manage our issues openly instead of behind closed doors. However, many of those expressions may or may not have been our finest or most rational way of thinking. It did show that we are mad and furthered the notion that the media is full of holes. In all the wrongful ways people expressed themselves many old, improper beliefs are slowly becoming extinct but they are not going down without a fight. When we can come together as human beings to face our issues in civil manners only then can we redeem ourselves from believing that “Good fences make good neighbors.” I do believe that not all old beliefs are bad it only takes common sense, common decency, and just an iota of intelligence to know how to make the old and new beliefs work together for the benefit of all. To end this segment, I leave you with a passage that is open to interpretations: “There where it is we do not need the wall: He is all pine and I am apple orchard. My apple trees will never get across and eat the cones under his pines, I tell him. He only says, ‘Good fences make good neighbors.’”
It’s the simple things in life that can make all the difference for you and those around. We’ve heard that before in some form or fashion over and over, but I think we grow numb to that idea as we get to a certain coming of age and by the time we realize how to enjoy them we’re on our way out the door. It goes back to having so much “stuff” happening around us on social media that we can’t think. The amount of time it takes to make a person’s day with a kind gesture or stop and enjoy a peaceful moment is so minuscule that it baffles me there are people who can’t find joy at some point of their day. I understand people legitimately suffer from depression and sometimes those moments aren't enough. This is aimed at those without depression that complain about the constant hardships of just existing or are just “meh” towards everything. The thing about all those wasted minuscule points of time, is that they can turn sour and it begins to affect you physically and mentally. “Birches” is another of Frost’s poems that serves as a reminder to not let time and body get in the way of enjoyment. “So was I once myself a swinger of birches. And so I dream of going back to be. It’s when I’m weary of considerations, and life is too much like a pathless wood where your face burns and tickles with the cobwebs.” Find that constant in life that will keep you young at heart regardless of age and I assure you that the weight of the world will not be as heavy as it may seem. As Frost ends his poem, he states: “ One could do worse than be a swinger of birches.” so always stay young at heart and you’ll live longer.
Now that 2017 is here, it may or may not be any “easier” than last year. With the upcoming of a new President that might make 2016 look like the good ol’ days, just know it could be worse. Everything could be worse. Regardless of all the trials and tribulations that may come, remember to live, love, and respect. We are all going through some sort of hardship, but none of it is unique and someone else has already dealt with the same ordeals so seek advice from friends or family often. Ten years ago when I was a Freshman in college, my geography teacher would always tell these amazing stories of his travels before class. After every story he would end it by saying: “No matter what you do in life, you’re going to die.” We would laugh at that statement every time since our frontal lobes were not fully connected and think that was morbid and savage to tell people. It was not until later in life that statement finally dawned on me and I started to live without worry about every tiny detail and wave useless things goodbye. We are all in this together as humans and we need each other to save and protect what is a rarity in the cosmos; us and Earth.