Growing up there were always privileges granted based on behavior or by doing the right thing. I always thought they were a good thing until I got older and saw how some people take advantage of the system.
In recent years, my awareness of this concept has heightened. Our predisposition towards our status in society or preconceived ideas about other people seem to make having advantages in life okay.
There is a big difference between having privileges and being privileged. The sense of entitlement will be the ultimate demise of our society.
We somehow think that if it does not apply to us, then it is not really happening. Reality check: the logic of ‘I cannot see you, so you cannot see me” is plain ignorance and has no room in this discussion.
Sure, some people are always going to have the upper hand solely based on being a member of America’s white and middle/upper class. But, having the ability to recognize it and trying to break the barrier between that and the rest of levels of advantages and disadvantages could be the start of a beautiful thing.
I often wonder what our world would look like if we played the game of life on an equal playing field. It would strip away some egos and dish out a healthy serving of humble pie.
Privileges can be taken away just as fast as they were given. Taking away the entitlement of being privileged will take years to erase.
Imagine how our lives would be different if we did not grow up the way we were. Did privilege play a part?
Rise above being privileged and learn the difference.
©Inquisitive Perspectives 2018
Selfishness lives and breathes. It has an ugly face, yet it does not seem to scare us. It somehow wiggles its way to whatever we are doing. It could be as small as taking the last cookie just so the next person does not get it, or it could be something much bigger than that like purposely doing something to undercut someone else to get a promotion. Either way, no matter how big or how small, it is wrong.
Through volunteering hundreds of hours in high school, I learned some of the most valuable lessons. The cause is always more significant than the person. The outcome is always worth it. And, the feeling of service far outweighs the recognition.
If we feel like we need to do good deeds just for the sake of the potential of someone watching, we are doing it for the wrong reasons. It says a lot about a person’s character if we are doing these things because we see they need doing or if we are doing it just to be seen doing it. There is a big difference, and one is the shallow option. I will let you decide where you stand on this one.
Volunteering in our communities is a great way to get involved in a project bigger than ourselves. It is a way to give back and grow to discover who we are in society. My philanthropic efforts with my school allowed me the chance to really dig my heels in and understand what community service meant. At such a young age, it was one of the most valuable lessons life could have handed me. I feel like it molded me to make the life decisions I have made thus far.
I will continue figuring out who I am and what I can give back to my community, locally and globally. So, in the meantime, I guess I am living a life lost in servitude.
©Inquisitive Perspectives 2018
One would think happiness would be easy to come by these days. But, we somehow still manage to let sadness and sorrow seep through the cracks. I am not pointing out flaws in others without admitting my own guilt in the matter. In the ebbs and lows alike, there should be happiness, and dwelling on life’s lows will steal joy from you and me every time. There are so many things to be thankful for all year round, but I think especially this time of year, we should be doubly grateful for the springtime. The warmth and flowers should make anyone happy.
Life is crazy busy, and I can only imagine that it will get crazier with time. I feel like I go a million miles a minute between school, work, and whatever else life decides to throw my way. I do not stop as long as something is going on, but since classes have dismissed for the summer, it has mellowed out (just a little). I guess you could say I am trying to slow down to smell the roses (that I am oh so allergic to), but that is not stopping me from enjoying all that spring has to offer. And with a Michigan spring, I will take any half-way decent weather.
My point here is that it should not take that much to make us happy. Sure, there are going to be days when it feels like the world is consuming us and there is no end in sight but be thankful for the ability to work through whatever comes. It may be more comfortable to sit back and watch the rain pour, but life will be more rewarding if we grow through the challenges. Look beyond the showers and find the happy blooms of life.
©Inquisitive Perspectives 2018
Graduations bring an indescribable feeling. I have had the great honor of doing it three times now, and it just keeps getting better and better. With each one, I get a little more excited, smile a little bigger, and walk a little taller. Graduation is a huge celebration of achievement and hard work, and The University of Toledo sure knows how to make a grad feel like a million bucks!
It was surreal to watch my fellow graduates and friends gather in the Glass Bowl Stadium to take our final march as undergrad students. But first, pictures. Lots and lots of pictures. The party began in a parking lot as the parade of colleges lined up, and it captured moments that I wish could have stood still for forever.
The ceremony got underway, and as I sat there and watched the events play out, I was soaking up every moment. Our president, Dr. Sharon Gaber kicked it all off with congratulatory remarks. With keynote speakers, they are either hit or miss, but Charles Ealey was amazing! As a University of Toledo Alumni and three-time MAC Champion football player with a 35-0 record that still stands, he brought a unique perspective to the day. His three points were to be inward, outward, and upward. It was powerful, and it made me think about how I can apply these concepts to my life.
Inward. I am reflective to begin with, but you add a major life event to the mix, and I am in my thoughts for days. He reminded us to not worry so much about making a living that we lose sight of making a life. Even though the whole point of going to school and paying way too much for a pretty piece of paper is to get a job and make a decent living, there is more to this than what is shown on the surface. Building a life means dreaming and setting goals, and however we reach those things are what matter.
Outward. We were challenged to make a global impact. The people we meet and the choices we make will be a guiding light through life. We have to be willing to put ourselves out there to make advances and be willing to take risks and be transparent even when it is hard. We are to be open to newness and grow in all aspects.
Upward. These are our values. With great optimism, the odds are in our favor, and we should strive to be positive and see the possibilities in the things we set our minds to in life. Things are always brighter looking up, so up I will look.
About halfway through the ceremony, the College of Health and Human Services was called to make that proud walk to obtain my Bachelor’s Degree of Science in Speech-Language Pathology. My friends and I stood up, walked to the sidelines of the field, gave a wink and a wave to our parents in the stands, smiled for the cameras, and prayed we did not trip as we shook hands with the most important people of the university. We started this journey together, and nothing was going to keep us from finishing it together.
As our professors cheered us on and were paparazzi-in-training, we knew they were proud of us. It was a cool feeling to know they were the first ones to welcome us into the program and would be the last ones to send us off to our next chapter. Such a sigh of relief came after I returned to my seat. More pictures ensued, of course, but a flood of happiness came over me.
The close of The University of Toledo’s Class of 2018 Commencement came two-and-a-half hours after it began. We just about danced off the field (because that is how we finish) and shuffled through the crowd to greet our parents as new graduates. It felt like they squeezed a little tighter and held on a little longer. To say my parents were proud would be an understatement.
For some, we had to say goodbye to for a while to friends and others was just a “see you later.” Much of our free time from studying was spent watching funny videos or making Grey’s Anatomy and Friends references. I think it is funny that those two television shows became our shows because we are so much like both. We became friends because we had to in the beginning and we needed each other as the interns did on their first day. But, as the days turned into months and the months turned to years, we grew together in friendships because we wanted to and saw an unbreakable bond form like the friends of Central Perk. Doors will open and close, and friends will come and go. There will always be room for each of us in each other’s lives, and I have been blessed with the best. These three years would not have been nearly as fun without them, and the best part about it is that we did it together.
Saturday, May 5, 2018 was a special day. It was the one where we graduated.
©Inquisitive Perspectives 2018