“The Human Spirit lies in experiences.” – John Krakauer in his book Into the Wild.
The above-mentioned quote appears in a book called Into the Wild. It is a national bestseller written in 1996 by John Krakauer, and it was later adapted into a movie by Sean Penn. The book is based on an article Krakauer wrote on the life of Christopher McCandless, an American adventurer. I haven’t read the book yet, but I am definitely going to.
As I was reading about Christopher, I was ecstatic to discover that he is an alumnus of Emory University! (Yay!) After graduating with high grades from Emory, he donated his $25,000 college fund to find solutions for poverty and injustice around the world. This was just to give you some background on the book and the quote.
To me, life is simply a collection of experiences. One of the primal purposes of living is to have a multitude of experiences – good and bad, funny and serious, breathtaking and boring, incredible and ordinary, etc. Notice I used “and” instead of “or” because it’s important to have a variety of experiences. We can only develop through experiences, never diminish.
I love trying new things, and I have a bucket list of hundreds of things I want to try or do. (I’m still working on making the list comprehensive, and I’ll probably write about my list once it’s near its completion.) I mean I guess it could be said that trying new things and gaining experiences is just YOLOing, but it’s more profound than that. You don’t just go out and do stupid stuff; you do things that are meaningful, like completely shaving your head or getting your voice heard.
Pierre de Ronsard once said, “Live now, believe me, wait not till tomorrow; Gather the roses of life today.” For me, those roses are a metaphor for experiences. There is nothing that mandates the roses to be aromatic or even beautiful. Similarly, the experiences don’t always have to be joyful and splendid. Trust me, regardless of how hard we try, we are guaranteed to encounter those sad, boring, and regretful experiences. Accept them and move on!
This week, I completely shaved my head; maybe, it wasn’t the best idea. But, I wanted the experience, and I certainly don’t regret it. I’ve always wanted to shave my head just to see what it’s like, and this was just the ideal time to do it. Am I going to continue shaving my head? No, of course not. Hopefully, my hair will grow back to its normal length in three weeks, before my college orientation and Eid.
Here’s a before and after picture from this week. So far, I’ve been compared to Zinedine Zidane and badasses from Indian movies…
It’s still really hard to believe that I am already eighteen years old and that I get to vote in the U.S. Presidential Election in coming November. On July 31st, Georgia had its general primary where I voted in two very important issues. One of the issues was a transportation referendum for the city of Atlanta. It was a ten-year long, billion dollars initiative to improve the traffic and economy of Atlanta. The other issue was on whether alcohol sales were to be allowed on Sundays. I voted Yes for both issues. It was just the experience — voting for the first time, doing something that has an impact, etc.– that was certainly extraordinary.
It was a surprising experience as I made a last-minute decision to vote in the primary. Frankly, it’s not like I was never expecting to be eighteen or a citizen of U.S.A. I realized these things were bound to happen. And yeah, I was really excited after voting!
What I failed to realize is that they would happen in the blink of an eye.
Life is short. Gather the experiences in life and give your life a meaning.