Presentation on theme: "Past experiences change a person's life in so many ways. Wisdom can be gained through challenging situations; but more importantly, positive experiences."— Presentation transcript:
Past experiences change a person's life in so many ways. Wisdom can be gained through challenging situations; but more importantly, positive experiences give us something to look back on in the tough times. Everyone says that unfortunate things help people learn so much, but just as memorable as the bad, the good times leave a great taste in your mouth. These times can make a person strive for more times like them, in general, a happier life. There is an example of this in my life. I am not one of those kinds of people that go out and do social activities on the weekends with their friends. I am more of a solitary person, and I was content with that. But, after making it onto the varsity soccer team, 'team nights' were introduced to me, and I began to wonder what I'd been missing. The fun was so amazing, so indescribable, it changed me; I wanted more. This idea is summed up beautifully by Christopher McCandless. He said, "It is the experiences, the great triumphant joy of living to the fullest extent in which real meaning is found." It is very true, and many songs, books, and poems convey this idea, but none more than "The Nights," by Avicci. The song states, "Someday, you'll leave this world behind. So live a life you will remember." Good experiences define who we are, and more importantly, who we are to become tomorrow. What most of the seven billion people on earth don't realize is that when you move on from Earth and this life, all that can be taken along is memories. There is only the capability to look back, and say, "I didn't have enough fun." Or, in the words of Ryan Tedder from One Republic, in 'I Lived', "I owned every second that this world could give... I swear I lived."
Human beings grow and change through experiences. What defines them is not the victory or loss of a challenge, but rather how they act at a time of adversity. Consistency in human life is not always a benevolent factor. If one doesn't strive for change of any type, that person will stay perpetually in a plateau of stability and not develop individually. Past experiences carve and sculpt the minds of tomorrow, nurturing individuals cognitively to form the modern day American. A person is as unique as their finger print, so I can not generalize the rites of passages each individual takes in order for them to shape into their adult selves. Mistakes are the guidelines to our lives, they are inevitable, when made we can learn from them or let them scar us. It is scientifically proven that you are a different person every ten years, literally, an individual's wants, needs, and aspirations change just as much as their physique. Wisdom is not acquired through years, but through knowledge, and time isn't a predicament in this matter. What shapes an individual is their past mistakes, just as the hardships that have shaped the youngest self-made woman billionaire, Elizabeth Holmes, dropping out of Stanford University, today her net worth is 4.5 billion dollars. An individual can failure miserably, but that does not mean that they are failures. It is the knowledge that one can gain from the lack of triumph that nurtures an individual and guides them through the path of success. Mistakes are bound to be made, but it is up to the individual if the failure will be taken as a learning experience, or the anchor that will keep them from true success.
Human failure. It is often exaggerated, seen as idiocy, or for some of us, it is the small light at the end of the tunnel. Failure should be embraced, for it is the only entity that can set us free. Failure can make you stronger because it can lead you to the light, even when you are constantly thrown into the darkness. For many authors, getting published was anything but a walk in the park. For J.K. Rowling, it was as if the universe did not want anything to do with her on her writing. Joanna went through hell with her abusive husband, her young daughter, and her mother passing, it seemed like her books had no future. After leaving her first husband, Joanna moved back to England from Portugal and started a better life for her and her daughter. A better life in which her books that had taken years were published. Joanna went company to company until one finally gave her a chance. Her book, had been criticized for being a children’s book, for children’s books make no money! However, that was later proven wrong when the Harry Potter series became a legend! Millions of copies sold worldwide, Joanna now knew what the sun against her skin felt like. She had seen the light after countless of times of being dragged in the mud. Failure is the downfall for many souls, but it can make you feel stronger, it can give you hope because without failure, there is no success, because without hell, there is no heaven.
We are nothing more than a collection of memories. We are children of decisions from ages past. It is history that has molded us into the beings of which we are. Each and every person is a puppet, tied to the strings of life. The puppeteer: all things decided. Death to one's self. This horrid thought is not built over night. By the time one decides to take their own life, they are already dead. They had already been murdered by the words and actions of their executioner. When reflecting upon this subject, one can think of the Grand Canyon. It is estimated that it was formed over the course of 40 million years. Water began to flow (the words have been spat out). After a while it creates a crack. No big deal right? Wrong. The water continues to tear away at the ground (a soul). Time goes on and all that is left is a canyon (a dead heart). By the point someone chooses to commit suicide, they feel themselves as nothing more than a walking corpse, and at that point, is there reason to go on. Someone who chooses to end their life is a collage of the hurt and pain and suffering. In fact, they did not choose to end their life at all. People decided to be cruel and they built a monster. It was the puppeteer constructed of the words and pain that takes the knife, that grabs the pills, that steps off the edge.
The cliché of the year, no, century is that we are defined by our mistakes. In a way, we are but if that's true then why are the famous labeled by their success? We don't usually see a murderer admit that they killed someone on purpose, although it's normally the case. Nowadays, we blindly accept our failures and somehow they end up "defining us.” These past experiences end up altering a life depending on their severity. In truth, if you are able to accept things as they are, your life won’t change as much as you’d expect. Open minded people are less likely to notice life altering experiences simply because their minds are flexible. Most of the time, a death or even a divorce is what can trigger one of these eye opening moments. In the book Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell, Eleanor is not able to fit in at her new school because of her parent’s divorce. Her new stepdad makes it almost impossible for her to have nice things and they live in a rotten “home.” She used to be able to go out with friends but she’s not allowed anymore. She dreams of having a family like her boyfriend’s but she knows she can’t because she lives her life in constant fear. In my opinion, anything can cause a person’s perspective of life to change. Divorce is probably in the top five of that list because it is so common. This mostly depends on the person’s state of mind and how well they are able to cope with change. Past experiences change a person’s life because we let them.
The past can single-handedly grasp a person's mind. It can handcuff you to your flaws until you weep and moan for mercy. The past is the monster that constantly reminds you of the things that you keep hidden; it has control of your present, and future. A person's life can be altered by past experiences by letting the occurrence become a part of the person's growing self. People often let the past affect them in such a way where it completely overwhelms them, it owns them, it breeds them. It can overtake who you are, it can strangle you and leave you for dead. But it cannot touch you if you let it be a part of you, if you embrace it, you do not give it the knife that leaves you scars. Noble Peace Prize winner and Holocaust survivor, Elie Wiesel, like a phoenix, was reborn from the ashes of not only himself, but of the 11 million people killed during the mass murder that is the Holocaust. Elie, like other Holocaust victims, was starved, tortured, and mentally scarred by the events that took place in the concentration camps. He lost himself along the way, and he even lost his faith in God. All Elie could think about was getting out, and he did. He was liberated on April 11, 1945 and he became one of a few, to say that they survived one of the biggest mass genocide in world history. Elie went through hell, but he did not let the flames engulf him. He did not talk about it for years, he kept it locked up, but one day, he decided to share his pain and awareness with the world, and wrote the brilliant book, Night. When we let our past consume us, we let it kill us, too. We should never forget about our past experiences, we shall not forget, but we shall keep it with us, as a reminder that we fought, and we survived. As Elie Wiesel once said, "Never shall I forget those moments which murdered my God and my soul and turned my dreams to dust. Never shall I forget these things, even if I am condemned to live as long as God Himself. Never."
The minute hand is at five past twelve, the hour hand at one. The timekeeper is baffled. Had he not set the minute to fifteen? His reputation. Shattered. His confidence. Obliterated. In turn he corrects his mistake, and now the course of the hand is on the righteous path to success. The experiences of days past serve as great reminders of how to sanctify the days ahead; like a historian studies an aged parchment, meticulously observing correlations and discrepancies to ameliorate his accomplishments in the future. Therefore, past accounts are manipulated to keep on improving day by day. The purpose of change by beforehand encounters is to avoid the almost sinful act of the sheer desire to remain as before. Humans were created in order to improve, as the theory of evolution and most religions presume. Mankind would still be in the stone age if it were not due to the alterations and fine tuning of our minds. For example, there was a great Catholic Saint named Augustine. This man had lived a very sinful life: he did not believe in God and his main desire was self pleasure. Then, one day, he had a vision which encouraged him to change his ways and be holy. His mistakes only refined his resilience to evil. In a sense, the gift of free will was set with a emergency brake. Nature realized that man would mess up, so the brake is a mental impulse to adjust and soar to a fulfilling nirvana. The human spirit is the ultimate power that the mammalian ancestry was born with, reinvigorated with the musical harmony of mankind in order to continue to make a symphony sparsely sophisticated into the essence of Ludwig or furthermore. The library is waiting to be filled, shelves left vacant in preparation of the sequel to the antecedent.
Haunted. We are forever to be tormented by our deepest phobias within. Everyone has a locked cellar deep inside that should not and by all means never be reopened. A person's life can be completely set in another direction because of the past. Everyone has a dusty old cabinet labeled "Do Not Touch" in the deepest recesses of their minds. Many of these personal horrors are induced by traumatizing stories of the past. My mom has an irrational fear of frogs because of an incident in her childhood living in Panama. She awoke from slumber on a typical morning to find a menacing amphibian on her chest staring with its beady black eyes into her soul. As she flailed about screaming, unfortunately, the frog expelled it's vile fluids on my mother as it leapt off her chest. Hence, my mother will never be able to tolerate the presence of any amphibian. Former events not only create personal fears. They can completely turn a person around in a whole other tangent as well. My father as a student never really put much effort at all into his assignments, attending only for friends and being "cool". Now as a father, his words echo and nudge me in my back when I get the temptation to procrastinate instead of work. My dad does not want me to follow in his footsteps when it comes to education, and I'm proud to say I am granting him his wish. Many of us look back to the glory days and smile, others cringe, while still even others laugh, but no matter what, a truth rings. Past experiences can change us in many ways, whether it be a phobia or a different viewpoint in life. Minor or major, the past does shape us into who we are. Have you realized anything new that your history sculpted you to be?