This I Believe

Anthony - Newtown, Connecticut
Entered on May 29, 2007
Age Group: 18 - 30
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It seems that every day the world becomes more and more consumed by aggression, obsession, stress, and anxiety. It has become very common to find a person speeding down the road with a mug of coffee in one hand, a newspaper in the other, and an eye staring fixedly at a wristwatch in hopes of successfully cramming the tasks of waking up, staying informed, and getting to work on time into one massively efficient motion that will easily fit into an ever-tightening schedule. But as this person speeds off, he fails to see the fluorescent pinks and luminous yellows that are streaked across the sky behind him as the sun emerges from beneath the horizon. And if he were to simply turn his attention from his watch for just one second, he would surely lose interest in the coffee and the newspaper and question what exactly he was in such a hurry to get to.

I believe that there is a beauty in the world that is being taken for granted. Trust me, I know how easy it is to get caught up in the stresses of life. With the memory of SATs still fresh in my mind and AP tests and finals just over the horizon, this time of the year can be especially hectic. But I find that stopping everything for a moment and taking in all of the colors around me eases the mind. I can relax and focus on what’s important.

The colors of the world seem to serve as nourishment for the brain. When they’re not taken in, the brain suffocates and everything begins blur into a dull shade of gray. I remember this happened to me during the swim season a couple of years ago. I would leave the house early in the morning, before the sun came up, spend the day in windowless classrooms, and leave the school after practice, late after the sun disappeared into the night. I would return home every night exhausted, only wanting to crash into my bed but knowing that hours of homework still lay ahead. The schoolwork piled up more and more every day. And then I was hit by midterms. My brain froze up and recoiled from the overload.

Since that time of my life, I have made a strong effort to never lose sight of the vibrancy of the world. When the sun is out, I lie in a hammock or sit in a lawn chair and embrace its rays. When it rains, I listen to the beat of the falling drops on the roof. And when the hours of studying for AP chemistry begin to build up in my brain, I put everything down, strum a few chords on my guitar, and watch the world dance to a soothing rhythm.