This I Believe

Sylvia Jun-Mee - Evansville, Indiana
Entered on June 21, 2008
Themes: carpe diem

Living in the Moment

Just recently, some of my classmates and I traveled to the Big Apple itself- New York City, New York for a class trip. We toured so many famous places, like Central Park, Fifth Avenue, and a trip to the top of the Empire State Building. The view in the early morning was breath taking, even with the light layer of brown smog hovering on the horizon line. Yet, in the end, the most inspiring site was Ground Zero.

The worksite was fenced off, and people passing by could see it through a scaffold’s screen. It was unbelievable how we were so close to one of the most devastating moments of history in America. During the day, I had a growing paranoia that my own home, even my hometown might be gone. When we were finally deposited at the Sheraton Manhattan, I wanted to call back home, but using a phone card, and the hotel phone intimidated me. (The fact that it was one in the morning might have something to do with it too.)

Skipping to the end of our homeward flight, when I saw my father and learned everything was fine, I felt such a peaceful relief. I was, of course, grateful for my many blessings that I was allowed to keep! Yet, still troubled by the grief the friends and family must have felt when those magnificent buildings went down on 9-11, taking many lives with them. Most wouldn’t feel the same relief I did. Did those friends and families have regrets? Would they give anything to redo last moments?

I believe in carpe diem, cherishing every fleeting moment, no matter how insignificant they may be. One never knows when something will permanently change everything. Life is a gift that’s never given twice. Now I understand why “today� is called the “present�.