One thing I have been trying to get myself to do more lately is to just appreciate my surroundings for what they truly are. So, every morning for the last two weeks, I woke up and I decided to look out my window and let my day’s outlook be determined by how I felt looking out of them every morning.
I felt grateful to see such timeless beauty of the snow-capped San Juan Mountains. Walking to class from my dorm, I would see the pink, purple and orange sunrise just coming over the hogback right next to the Fort Lewis campus. I decided to smile rather largely all across my face when I saw the colors of life being reflected everywhere around me. It reminded me of what a beautiful place I get to live in, and how extraordinary life can be.
While walking to class, I saw new faces and flashed a smile at them hoping it would help make their day a little brighter. Whenever I went to campus to buy food or to use the computer lab, I always made sure to hold the door open a little longer for someone else just to show that I noticed their presence. Doing all of the simple things made me simply happy.
Then I got thinking: At a time of year when materialism is everywhere, the world needs people who genuinely want to do those simple gestures. More people need to see the positive chain reaction that is set off just by holding the door open for the person behind them. We need more smiles and hellos from person to person, showing each other we are not alone in this life. No matter how terrible things get, I feel everyone on this planet needs to remember that kindness can always make things better.
Another simple thing I enjoy in life includes being recognized and appreciated while with someone face to face, meetings that should mean so much more than giving a materialistic gift that someone can sell, give away or throw away if they do not like it. When you give someone else your time and energy, and show them you are listening, they learn to care for you and the feeling becomes reciprocal.
Think for a minute about how much money you have spent on gifts for your special people versus how much time you have spent with them. I think our culture is losing the beautiful gift of manners and giving. It is that time of year again where everyone feels they need to buy gifts for their loved ones to show how much they care about them rather than just giving them their time and attention. Simple gestures such as you sharing your presence with someone often means more to them than whatever gift you bought them for the upcoming holidays.
No one on this Earth has a set responsibility to carry on simple gestures, or even kindness. But I know that no one could live without them. Human beings will always hope for a better day when there may not be one near, we will always dream for a better future than our present and we will always care for one another because it was always meant to be that way. No matter what God you believe in, or even if you don’t believe in a god, there is no way that you cannot believe in being a good person.
Aubrey Adler is a sophomore at Fort Lewis College studying business. A Littleton native, she loves dogs, the outdoors, snowboarding, music, singing, dancing and interacting with new people.