The World Revolves Around Me

by g.m.beloin

What sort of perspective do you have about your stature in this worldly matrix we live in?  Are you a rotational point that grabs hold of everything and anyone near you and swings them around as if you are the decider of their orbit?  Or would you prefer to have your own orbit that swings around some unknown axis deep within the core of the planet?  In simplified terms: is it all about you, or do you take a more humble stance?

Made it through my first week being back in Boston, woo hoo!  Classes have been going really well so far, as in we haven’t been hit with significant workloads just yet.  Actually got to take some time this past weekend to do some exploring around the city and covered quite some distance walking between Newbury Street, the Prudential Center, The Boston Commons, Beacon Street, The Financial District and the North End.  We’ve had fantastic weather and settling in has been quite enjoyable, although still trying to reestablish my sleeping and eating schedule (which is harder than you think).  Having a great time to say the least, and I am confident that this year will be very enjoyable.

So back to my intro…as we all know when it comes to school, the first few classes always revolved around going over the syllabus and all that jazz.  I don’t know about you, but I honestly have a very limited patience towards dealing with that aspect of starting class!  However, when a professor can whip out a worthy inspirational video clip to get me interested, then I have a better attitude.  I am pleased to share with you a speech that has been paired with a fun video as part of the 2005 commencement address given to Kenyon College by author David Foster Wallace.  I am a sucker for well thought up lectures with an admirable moral.  The gist of “This Is Water” (click here) is finding a realization of what sort of life awaits post college and how terrible it may just turn out to be.  Of course I say this with a tone of sarcasm, but this is something not many 20 year olds can’t comprehend just yet.  The world does not revolve around you, the world has nothing to do with maintaining your comfort, making sure you are happy, fulfilling every one of your needs…that is NOT how it works.  And if you are caught thinking that way, you’re trapped in a terrible web that promises you will live a very miserable and less than comfortable life.  You are gonna have bad days, you are going to get stuck in traffic, you are going to encounter rude people, I could go on forever.  The deciding factor, is what you make of it.  Here is one way to think of many situations, especially those involving other people: everyone you encounter is afraid of something, loves something and has lost something.  Now take a moment to think of your own personal items for this itinerary.  Now think how you would feel if someone you had never met before unknowingly mocked, criticized or degraded any of those traits.  Treat other’s the way you want to be treated and carry a perspective that anyone you meet, be it while walking down the street when its pouring or when you’re stuck in line at the grocery store, may look to you as a ray of light in the doldrums of the day in and day out scheme; make sure you don’t let them down.

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