Hey, guys! Just a heads up: I’m going to be changing the schedule of my blog to only post on Mondays and Fridays.
There are many wonderful things about our nation. Mixing cultures, amazing schools, a people’s government, but yet another one of these beautiful pieces of our Nation is something that we cannot claim a hand in shaping. Her geography. Think about it!
When I say ‘desert’, you might think of Arabia. When I say ‘tundra’, you might think of Norway. When I say ‘island’ you might think of Britian or Japan. Either way, each bit of terrain above is almost the exclusive type of terrain found in the countries above. Yet, here in America, we have it all.
Mountains, deserts, tundra, tropical islands, prairie, swamps, forests, all right here! We don’t need to leave out country to see the North Star and the Southern Cross in the same sky, we don’t need to leave out borders to see the Northern Lights, or one of the few coral reefs left. Its all here, it’s all home.
Our culture and our Nation complement each other, they pull differences together to make it a masterpiece, a mural of color and life. We live in a country that has the whole world in its borders, how cool is that?
Hey, Americans! Do you know that you live in one of the most amazing countries in the entire world? Well, obviously you do, but still! People risk everything to find the American Dream, and our people are born with it free. You can do anything you want in your life! Anything! Make a movie? Yup! Become a government official? Go ahead! FBI, singer, artist? Why not! We American teens have one of the most amazing futures in front of us, one of dreams, of beauty, of awesomeness! I don’t mean that word in the slang tense, by the way, I mean awe-provoking. Ground-shaking, history-altering futures. At our fingertips!
We have amazing Universities on our soil, we have outstanding scientists, fabulous writers, people here who teach whatever you can think of! I mean, how outstanding is that? Our generation is growing up in one of the most amazing places in the world, we have everything we need to change our world right here. In our cities, our Nation. We can change the world by living to the fullness of our being, by throwing ourselves into our dreams, not matter what they are.
Here, in the Land of the Free and Home of the Brave, we can do anything. We. Can. Do. Anything. You can make your life what you want it to be, that’s the beauty of America. Your dreams are never too big, the sky is never out of reach, it’s always just around the next corner.
Have you ever gone to a museum with artifacts from around the eighteen-hundreds? Art, furniture, dresses, that sort of thing? Did you stop and think, “Gee. It’s a pity we’re not making stuff like that anymore.”? Well, you want to know why we’re not making stuff like that anymore? We came to the conclusion that we didn’t need our things to be beautiful, or even hand-made. But, then, you can enjoy something without needing it. You don’t need to draw or play an instrument or sports, but you do it. Why? Because it’s fun, and we like it.
But art, true, beautiful, awe-provoking art, is dying in our nation. I’m not just talking about paintings, although those are included in that statement. I’m talking about welding, charcoal sketching, writing music, carving, making clothes, glass blowing, masonry, and gourd art. (Yeah, that last one’s a thing. My sister’s really good at it. Here’s a link to show you how awesome it is.) https://www.flickr.com/photos/141148183@N08/albums
We are losing our art. It’s dying. We’re killing it. You want to see stuff being made like that again? Then go find someone who knows how to do it and ask them to teach you. I’m sure they’d love to show someone their work! You know why? The people who still know how to do these things also know that they need to pass the torch on to our generation, otherwise their craft will be lost. Wouldn’t it be sad if, a few years down the road, your child’s thought isn’t “It’s a pity we’re not making stuff like that anymore,” but has turned into, “It’s a pity we forgot how to make stuff like that.”
So, try and figure out how to make hand-held fans, how to create jewelry, how to pen calligraphy. Like I said Wednesday, libraries can tell you anything. If you come to a draw, then ask around! You’ll be surprised what you can find in your community. If we want to see the kind of art you see behind glass and guards in museums return to our country, then we need to make it. You know you can, and America isn’t going to fix herself. We can bring the lost arts back, we make her a land of beauty and talent once again.
“The bed is a bundle of paradoxes: we go to it with reluctance, yet we quit it with regret; we make up our minds every night to leave it early, but we make up our bodies every morning to keep it late.” -Ogden Nash
Libraries are amazing. Hundreds, or, depending where you live, thousands of books are at your fingertips. Yeah, yeah, whatever, but just think about that for a moment: You have a resource that many scholars in our past could only dream of. Abraham Lincoln, ya know, the guy who became the most recognized president aside from George Washington, once had to walk five miles to get one book. One book, people! Whereas you can hop in your comfy car and a few minutes later sit in a building designed specifically for books.
You want to know more about the C.I.A? You probably have at least ten books on it. Marine Bio? Coding? Origami? Got you covered. I once found a book in a library all about the history of paint. Paint. My point is, you can learn about anything in your library. You can hear the voices of people long gone, you can learn from their mistakes, and be inspired by their stories! You can be in the company of the greatest minds in our world with a swipe of your card. Just think about it!
Yes, Google is nice. But have you ever read a blog post or a website that someone poured all of their beliefs in? Their pain, what made them laugh, what showed them what it was to be human? Have you ever seen something on the internet that someone literally lived to write? My money’s on No.
Libraries are so much more than a bunch of books to go to when your parents tell you to get off your computer, or when you have a book report due on Abigail Adams. They are filled with years of knowledge, of thousands of imaginations sitting next to each other, beckoning us to a world that is not our own. It is a place to inspire us, to bring us into contact with the past of America, the present of our Nation, and hopes for the future of our world as a whole. That’s what a library is. It’s the freedom to learn anything you want, whenever you want, however you want. Look a bit deeper in the shelves, they may surprise you.
Did you know that the human brain works better after resting? It’s true! If I give you all the books for that big final next week, and you cram till the last minute, then you’ll perform less effectively than if you had taken a day or so off before the test. Weird, huh? I know, people will call you lazy, and goodness knows that’s no fun. We need to be chasing the American Dream, right?
America is a wonderful nation, I can’t express that enough, but we are a tad overworked. No, the world is not going to give you your dream career on a silver platter. Yes, you need to fight for what you want in life. But relaxing every now and again won’t kill you! In fact, it will boost your brain capacity. Einstein didn’t spend every minute of every day with sheets of messy paper, stress-frizzed hair, and nigh-unsolvable equations filling his brain. He knew that our minds need to play, to enjoy life. You know what he did to achieve this? He played violin. He played violin simply because he loved it. He never composed any pieces, never performed, he just did it to relax, to enjoy.
If you decide that you want to be perfectly fit, you wouldn’t jump on a treadmill, put it in the highest gear, and then run till you throw-up. You most certainly wouldn’t clean up the mess and climb back on. You give your muscles a break! And, guess what, your brain is a muscle. Shocker. So, the logical conclusion is that your brain needs to take breaks now and again. You need to get out your violin, whatever it is, and play, then get back to work.
I’m not saying that you should be relaxing all the time, or use it as an excuse to escape your job or homework. I’m saying that you shouldn’t spend every bit of your energy working. There’s an old poem that goes like this:
Work while you work
Play while you play
This is the way to be happy each day
All that you do, do with your might
Things done by halves, are never done right
So enjoy your life. Relax, have fun! Fill your life, not only with accomplished goals, but with great memories. Trust me, it’ll do you wonders.