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The Truth About the Fact: An International Journal of Literary Nonfiction

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Monday, March 15, 2010

Three Things You Can Learn From A Five Year Old


Over the past few weeks I have surrounded and allowed myself to partake in something that brings both a secret joy and tears to every 16 year old girl's eyes: DRAMA. For those of you who don't know the modern day meaning of the word, drama is a way of relating to the world where a person, typically an adolescent girl, consistently overreacts to a situation that can easily be resolved. This incredible and ridiculous phenomenon is embedded in our society, and is especially ingrained in college life and the Greek community. Sorority life is something I choose to join last year and something that has given me a system of networking for the future, memories I will never forget and my best friend. It has also given my many opporunities, most of which I have taken, to participate in this unavoidable causality that is drama.


Thankfully I have an amazing person that constantly reminds me of how absurd I can be at times. His name is Shane. Shane is five, loves chocolate and SpongeBob, and I am lucky enough to spend six hours a day with him. Shane is a constant reminder of some lessons we all learned early in life but have somehow forgotten over the course of "growing up". In lieu of my recent participation in this drama, I took a trip down memory lane, talked to Shane over a cup of chocolate milk and realized we all need to forget about everyone else, focus on ourselves and re-learn a few things.


THREE THINGS YOU CAN LEARN FROM A FIVE YEAR OLD


1. LIVE IN THE MOMENT


"Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a myster, but today is a gift that's why it's called the present"

-Master Oogway - Disney's Kung Fu Panda


As we grow older we become increasingly focused on the past or the future and ignore the now. We worry about grievances that have already occurred and worry about things that may or may not happen. But for a five year old, everything that is currently unfolding in the real is the main focus. A five year old has not yet mastered the art of being consumed with the past or future, but instead is enthralled with the gift of the present.


An hour after Shane's older brother calls him stupid, he is not still crying about it or worry about whether he will one day be intelligent; he is instead kicking my butt at a game of "Chutes and Ladders". Even when someone has said something mean about him, Shane doesn't hold onto any anger or resentment, but instead lets it go, moves on and focuses on his happiness at that moment.


Everyday a child wakes up and it's a new day; what happened in the past stays in the past. The energy Shane has at the start of each day is breathtaking. As an adult I have become so consumed with people pleasing, being successful and having a good reputation that I have lost this energy and enthusiasm for life. Starting each day with a smile can help restore this simlicity and eagerness for life.


2. THE GOLDEN RULE


"Treat others as you want to be treated"


This is a rule we have all heard, said and known to be true in our hearts since our early elementary years. But somehow when the going gets tough, when our egos are hurt and when it can further our own interests this rule gets tossed out the window.


When you are in a sorority it entails you spend a lot of time surrounded by 140 other girls. Sadly gossip is what follows. We all spend so much time judging, criticizing and openly talking bad about each other. I don't appreciate it when someone say something mean about me behind my back, yet I continue to speak badly of others behind theirs. Do I do this because of my own insecurities? Do I participate in bad mouthing for entertainment? Who knows, but it doesn't make me a better or a happier person.


We all know this golden rule, so why do we forget to follow it? We all need to spend a few minutes each day doing something nice for another person. Whether it's using please and thank you on a regular basis or respecting someone despite disliking them; treating other as we want to be treated is a start to making the world a better place.


3.LOVE YOURSELF NAKED


"Love yourself, for if you don't, how can you expect anybodyelse to love you?"

-Lisa Lisett, Writer and Mother


Love yourself naked: yes figuratively and yes literally.


Not to give T.M.I. but I love being naked. When the weather is nice, the roommate is gone and I need a little mood booster, I take it all off and walk around my apartment in my birthday suit. I'm not the only one who enjoys a little nakedness. We have all been to the beach and seen the 4 year old running around, suit off and sunscreen on. I can guarantee it's that child that is having the most fun. Unfortunately there does come a time when it's no longer socially acceptable to strip down. But everyh once in a while, in the privacy of your own home of course, there is something freeing about accepting yourself without the Steve Madden shoes, Seven jeans and Mac make-up.


Loving yourself naked is only the beginning to loving yourself whooly. In order to love and respect others, you must first love and respect yourself. In an attempt to surpass the dramatic part of sorority life I need to be able to respect everyone, even the people I don't get along with.


Sorority life is a vast ocean, and it's easy to get caught in the current. I plan on stealing Shane's inflatable SpongeBob arm floaties in an attempt to stay above the waves. Every important life lesson is learned in Kindergarten. Sharing is caring. Clean up your own mess. Keep your hands to yourself. Say you're sorry when you hurt someone. And it always remains true, no matter how old you are, when you go out in the world it is best to live in the moment, follow the golden rule, love yourself naked and hold hands to stick together.
-Alex M. Mead

1 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Alex,

"When the weather is nice, the roommate is gone and I need a little mood booster, I take it all off and walk around my apartment in my birthday suit. "
I'm not sure if I want to be your roommate anymore. Just kidding! Love the honesty in your post. I totally agree. Let's continue to rise above the petty drama and spend time focusing on what matters most, friends, family, and each other. Love you biffle.

Courtney M. Myers

March 15, 2010 at 10:32 PM  

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