paralyzed skier, became a teacher; the abused woman next door with
five small children leaves her alcoholic husband and starts college. It
takes determination and courage to act.
Be open to new ideas, experiences, and emotions. Live! Life
is a series of new challenges: how to eat, crawl, walk, potty, talk,
count, read, etc. How to find our place in the family and in school. How
to accept ourselves and our growing bodies. How to get along with the
opposite sex, how to handle our sexual and overwhelming love needs.
How to cope with children. And the challenges go on and on. Some
people stay young and continue to want new adventures, new ideas,
new experiences, while others want quiet, familiar security, and decide
they know "the truth."
Be not just open to adventures in the world, but more importantly
be open to adventures with ideas and with emotions. There are tests
of sensation-seeking which show it is related to having more fun and
being better able to handle unhappy events in life (Zuckerman, 1979).
From Freud to Jourard (1971), psychologists have proclaimed the
wholesomeness of expressing our feelings. As we hold back the
negative feelings--sadness, anger, fears--we stifle the positive ones--
joy, humor, excitement, love for humanity. How sad.
Perhaps worst of all is a closed mind, one that does not welcome in
new ideas. There is some wisdom, some justice, some validity in every
belief, every theory, every ideology. Absorb every idea you can, love it
(like George Washington Carver, who studied and "loved" the peanut)
until it reveals its secrets, its gems of wisdom, its usefulness to you.
Especially study the ideas and values and beliefs you have an aversion
to or dislike. After hard thought (Socrates) take the best ideas for your
"The hardest thing of all in life--
The conquest not of time and space,
But of ourselves, of our stupidity and inertia,
of our greediness and touchiness,
of our fear and intolerant dogmatism."
Be good to yourself. Take care of your body, your mind, and
your soul (Moore, 1993; Canfield & Hansen, 1994). Enjoy today and
remember the important things in life, the sacredness of life. There is
a saying: "If we fill our hours with regrets over the failures of
yesterday, and with worries over the problems of tomorrow, we have
no today in which to be thankful." Prepare for the future, but value the
preparation enough that you will not feel cheated if you never achieve
the goal you are seeking. Don't value a degree or promotion or income