Some say life is a teacher… and truthfully, they’re right. Life has taught me a lot of things, some of them good, some of them bad. Here is a list of some of the things life has taught me… so far:
1. Life isn’t fair but every so often, it’s beautiful anyway
I know now that the lives we lead are not and never will be fair, not to any person or thing but even in the midst of our greatest battles, our lowest of lows and our most emphatic falls from grace, life is beautiful… We just need to take the time to look and actually see that every once in a while.
Photo Credit: Facebook
2. Patience is indeed a virtue… but sadly, not one we were all blessed with
Yes, patience is a virtue but it is not one that we were all blessed with. Much like the world I have grown up in, I tend to want things to be instant, like coffee or internet searches on Google. I get impatient and frustrated so often when things don’t snap to and happen already but it’s only when I remind myself that anything worth having takes time… or else, it simply isn’t worth your time.
This can quite literally include anything from your dream profession to your love life and to even the more mundane, everyday things like surviving the rat race that is peak time traffic or finishing a finicky assignment/project for school, university or work.
However, like most other virtues, traits and skills, our degree of patience can be increased, controlled and changed… it simply requires: a certain amount of willingness to try.
3. You can never go back to the moment you were in before – that moment is gone
I’ve learnt that friendships, relationships, career choices and even the most basic, yet all-defining everyday choices cannot necessarily ever be returned to, revised or repeated. Such moments have come and gone, whether you had the foresight to seize them or not.
The things you have said, you can never unsay; the bridges you burnt, they cannot be unburnt and above all, the mistakes and choices we have made cannot be taken back and done over but that doesn’t mean you cannot start a fresh, be given a second (or thousandth…) chance or ultimately, learn from them.
The moment you were in before, sure, it’s gone, but what about the next one or the one you are already in? That might be perfect, so use it to change…. improve… be better…
4. No one really knows what the hell is going on
I used to think that with age comes wisdom and that one day I would suddenly ‘get’ everything. I would understand why the world is filled with so much pain or contrasting joy in the space between one minute and the next, why you need to do certain things in order to be considered cool, successful or experienced, why some rules cannot be broken but others can and above all, why things have to happen the way they do.
I thought I would have it all figured out someday and I was convinced that everyone around me, everyone I trusted or looked up to had some greater understanding, some hidden insight or untapped knowledge that would eventually be revealed to me… but… here’s the thing: no one knows what the hell is going on or why things must be done this way and not that way.
It doesn’t matter if you are 16 or 60, you will not ever truly understand why the world is so cruel (and yet still so wonderful) or what motivates human nature at its most primal levels – and you won’t really ever have it all figured out… no one possibly can. So what’s our singular saving grace? Well, we don’t need to understand – we just need to keep on keeping on.
5. There will never be enough time in the day… because we waste so much of it
Thinking, procrastinating, playing, stressing, rushing about… do you ever stop to think about how much time you waste doing these things? Likewise, does it ever occur to you how much time you are killing when you lounge around, stand in queues or simply lead your daily life?
If you’ve ever sat waiting for something to come – a message, a phone call, the rain, recess or the end of your shift – then you will know that there is actually so much more time in a day than we even require (or want…), it simply depends on our mind-sets. That’s why time seems to drag by when you are doing something unfavourable, yet other times, when you are quite literally having the time of your life, those golden hours seem to fly right on by…
It’s all a matter of perspective and how we apply time, for it is of the essence but we waste it like there’s no tomorrow… and you know what? Sometimes, there isn’t.
Photo Credit: Pinterest
6. No one has a better or easier life than you
Think I’m wrong? Do you imagine your problems, fears and status in life are greater or worse than the next person’s? Yeah, well, so do I… but we’re forgetting something vital here and it is that every single person you meet is fighting their own set of battles.
Someone once threw what was, at that point in my life, the worst year I’d ever encountered into harsh focus by saying to me that yes, my life is terrible right now but I need to remember that even, as we speak, somewhere in the world, someone else is starving, dying, being raped, murdered or lost and there isn’t anything anyone can do to stop this or even to help them.
Okay, so someone might be financially broke at the end of this month but what about the guy who sleeps in a deserted patch of ground near a local grocery and who has no home to return to, no family to speak of and no dry place to rest his head tonight as the rains, which some ‘luckier’ citizen prayed for, finally fall?
What about him? I don’t think he would mind being short of cash in April if it meant he had a place to call home, people who loved and looked out for him and above all, a warm, dry place to sleep… or even just an actual bed and not on a dirty, wet sheet on the cold, hard ground.
So yes, we all have our grievances and our joys but no man’s is greater than another’s. You cannot measure and compare such things because your breaking point, might be just another day in someone else’s life. Remember that next time you stop to pity the lot you were given in this world and instead, feel someone else’s sorrow for a change.
Life has taught me so much else besides but I guess right now, these are the things that really stand out to me… and you know something else? The things I know now, I didn’t necessarily understand or think about a year ago and that… that is what life has taught me above all else and it is this: Life is the most constant of teachers and we are eternally its pupils.