Graphic made by Evan Brooks
I was scrolling around the internet, of course, when I came across a short video. The video pictured a girl who had to wear hearing aids, and she had just received an advanced version that would allow her to hear substantially more. As she removed her old hearing aids and placed in her new ones, you could see the expression on her face change.
Her face was filling up with excitement as she listened to the sounds of more and more objects, and I was beginning to realize something. The click of the mouse to my computer was something I hear everyday, but she had not before. To her, the mouse to her computer never gave off any feedback that could be heard, or at least, not so clearly.
If she was able to hold such a fascination with the click of a mouse, why aren’t we? Is it because we have grown used to it, and if so, does getting used to something mean that we have to lose appreciation for it, too?
It’s close to impossible to relive something and still have that same spark you might have had the first time you encountered it. This might be why we enjoy watching others encounter something that was once new to us, to see and relive our experiences through them.
I refuse to believe that we cannot maintain a level of appreciation for all things in our lives, new to us or not. I believe that just because we have seen something or done something a thousand times before, it doesn’t make the object or action any less amazing.
Flying is something that can be often turned from a massive achievement that saves time to an annoying process that requires you to take off your shoes. The power is in the perspective. We can either choose to focus on the frustrating parts, like parking, security and delays making flying seem more like a chore, or we can look at it in a different light. We could look at how flying means you don’t have to get on a boat everytime time you want to visit somewhere across the ocean. How instead of days via a car, it takes only hours if you take a plane.
It may be easy to take things for granted, but it is rewarding to be appreciative of everything around us. There will always be annoying sounds, but at least you can hear. Some smells will make you wish you didn’t have a nose, but at least you can smell. Certain foods may taste horrible, but at least you can taste. Pain can always flood the body, but at least you can feel. All of our senses, pleasant or otherwise, make up and define our experiences — becoming the triggers to our most personal memories.
Next time you are dealing with something unpleasant, instead of getting annoyed, be grateful that you are able to have the experience. Just because something is unpleasant, that doesn’t make it bad. The bad experiences help make and define good ones. If all you had were good experiences, you wouldn’t know it because you wouldn’t have anything to compare it to.
There is always going to be some bit of light in any dark moment; your task is finding what the light is and why it matters. Only you get to decide how you feel in a given situation, no one else, so if you are able to find something to be grateful for, or to look at something in utter fascination, do it. You don’t have to be seeing something for the first time to be in awe of it. You could be watching the same movie for the 27th time, yet still love it because in each rewatch you find a way to look at the same thing in a completely different way.
Next time you are facing an irritating situation, stay calm and think for a moment: What can I be grateful for? What is there around me that can make me appreciate the situation?
Evan Brooks is a third-year Business Management major with minors in Economics and Civic and Professional Leadership EB0916132@wcupa.edu