By Lisa Demaine
No, this piece will not cover the mental health issues of higher education students nor the national student debt crisis some of may think will never be paid off in their lifetime. I’m here to remind you what matters in life. To save you from looking at the newest Buzzfeed list of inspirational quotes I will reflect you what members of the UNH community have said to be the best ingredients of life.
For an activism project in Dr. Penelope Morrow’s Sustainability and Spirituality course, six students asked passerby’s in Dimond Library different questions that made them stop for a moment and think about their lives in a larger frame. What pressures do you have? What gives you strength? What makes you beautiful? What would you do with your life if money were no object? What would you do if today were the last day to live? And one that answers all these questions; what is something you want everyone to know?
We give advice to friends about the complications of life but how often do we listen to ourselves? Even your bad days only last 24 hours. Love is the answer. Intelligence eliminates ignorance. Simple light can come out of complicated darkness. We have the power to change our immediate surroundings. These are the responses UNH community members gave when asked what they want everyone to know. They are also the answers for; when we feel about to collapse from the pressures of life, desire the strength to continue, forget how beautiful we are, how we want to spend our days, and what brings us true joy.
A theme from all responses was our dependence on others like family, friends and the furry friends at home. Many said they had certain people to utter ‘I love you’ to and some of those had never said it. There were hugs to be shared and adventures to be taken with on their ideal last day of this life. Why don’t we do these more often? We’re competing to see who has the least free time and who needs to work the hardest to earn the least money. Thanksgiving shouldn’t be the one day we appreciate others and ourselves it should remind us that the more often we warm our hearts with others the less disconnected we feel behind our screens.
As we head into the end of the semester and onto a new year I’ll leave you with the words of Terence McKenna, “You live as long as people remember you and hold you in their mind, and if this is not an argument for doing good and spreading love than I don’t know what is.”
Lisa Demaine is a senior studying environmental sciences.