Do We Challenge Ourselves Enough?

Do We Challenge Ourselves Enough?

Are we a generation that just breaks promises because it is comfortable?
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"Do one thing every day that scares you."

This quote is often misattributed to Eleanor Roosevelt, but actually originated from Mary Schmich. Its one of those quotes you find in New Year's resolution books or on an older women's Facebook page. However, it is rarely enforced.

When was the last time I did something that scares me or you did something that scares you? I, the young woman who resolved to make this the year of me, cannot remember. I have spent the last few weeks using the words "tomorrow I will start" and "this is the last time I put up with people walking all over me," but can't remember when I actually followed through. I have myself held back because it would be hard, because I wouldn't want to hurt anyone or because I doubt my abilities.

So, are we just a generation of promises that are consistently left empty?

50 percent of marriages fall apart. Presidents do not follow through with all of their stated commitments. And secrets are always eventually revealed. We, as millennials, live in a society where we take the easy way out by not challenging ourselves or others.

But this needs to change. We need to stop lazily putting the pressure on others to follow through while we don't. We need to treat others how we would like to be treated, stand up for ourselves and don't look back. We need to stop doing what is comfortable and start doing what is scary and challenging.

The time is now to break the cycle. It is time to push ourselves to take the risks be stronger, more truthful and kinder people to both ourselves and others.

If one has a passion for writing or painting, why is it that so often he or she majors in pre-med when he or she does not have any interest in it? Why do people stay in jobs or relationships when they are mistreated and under-appreciated instead of finding the fit that values what they have to offer?

I'm guilty of keeping the cycle going. I have told others' secrets, I have broken hearts, I have let others treat me horribly, I make promises to others and myself and broke them — and I very rarely take risks out of fear.

So, today I vow to actually do one thing every day that scares me in order to better myself and our generation. Today, I decide to break the cycle.

If this means I have to stand up to someone for speaking to me in a demeaning manner, find a way to see the world no matter what I leave behind, or change my major at the risk of being happy, yet making less money — I am going to do so.

I will treat others how I wish to be treated and not allow people to walk all over me anymore. I will find an intensely passionate love and not settle for because it is comfortable. I will give back to people even if it's taking the risk they may not give back something in return.

I will take risks to live a fulfilled life, because I am done living in a generation of broken promises instead of facing fears. Posting this, calling out our generation on our bullshit, is terrifying for me. But I start here.

When was the last time we did something that truly scared us? Why are we waiting?

Cover Image Credit: Key Life Choices

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I Blame My Dad For My High Expectations

Dad, it's all your fault.
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I always tell my dad that no matter who I date, he's always my number one guy. Sometimes I say it as more of a routine thing. However, the meaning behind it is all too real. For as long as I can remember my dad has been my one true love, and it's going to be hard to find someone who can top him.

My dad loves me when I am difficult. He knows how to keep the perfect distance on the days when I'm in a mood, how to hold me on the days that are tough, and how to stand by me on the days that are good.

He listens to me rant for hours over people, my days at school, or the episode of 'Grey's Anatomy' I watched that night and never once loses interest.

He picks on me about my hair, outfit, shoes, and everything else after spending hours to get ready only to end by telling me, “You look good." And I know he means it.

He holds the door for me, carries my bags for me, and always buys my food. He goes out of his way to make me smile when he sees that I'm upset. He calls me randomly during the day to see how I'm doing and how my day is going and drops everything to answer the phone when I call.

When it comes to other people, my dad has a heart of gold. He will do anything for anyone, even his worst enemy. He will smile at strangers and compliment people he barely knows. He will strike up a conversation with anyone, even if it means going way out of his way, and he will always put himself last.

My dad also knows when to give tough love. He knows how to make me respect him without having to ask for it or enforce it. He knows how to make me want to be a better person just to make him proud. He has molded me into who I am today without ever pushing me too hard. He knew the exact times I needed to be reminded who I was.

Dad, you have my respect, trust, but most of all my heart. You have impacted my life most of all, and for that, I can never repay you. Without you, I wouldn't know what I to look for when I finally begin to search for who I want to spend the rest of my life with, but it might take some time to find someone who measures up to you.

To my future husband, I'm sorry. You have some huge shoes to fill, and most of all, I hope you can cook.

Cover Image Credit: Logan Photography

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What It's Like To Be A Teacher-In-Training In A Country That Can't Stop School Shootings

For most of us, school shootings are tragedies that we hear or see on the news, but for teachers, it is a reality.

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The rate of school shootings has risen 59% since records of shootings began in 1970. Me personally, I believe in the right to bear arms but under the right circumstances as well as after going through the proper training and certification. Of the 97 shooting in 2018, 56 people lost their lives; teachers, Children, mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters and everything in between. As someone whose mother is a teacher, it is terrifying to think that at any moment someone could walk in and start shooting. I soon realized that even though I was scared for her, that she had to be scared for the twenty-something children in her classroom whom she is responsible for. What goes through a teachers mind when they hear about school shootings?

I was recently talking to my roommate, who is an education major, and we started talking about school shootings so I decided to ask her some questions about how school shootings have affected her.

As an education major, what goes through your mind when you hear about school shootings?

"That might be me one day, and as hard (and sad) as it is to think about it, that's the reality of the world we live in. I am going to be responsible for two-dozen children who aren't even old enough to multiply yet."

Was the thought of a school shooting happening to you something that factored into your decision to become a teacher?

"When I went into education, it wasn't a thought that crossed my mind. You don't want to think about stuff like that, and especially that it could happen to you. Even after I decided to become a teacher, the thought of someone shooting up the school didn't make me not want to do what I loved 'Don't let the fear of striking out keep you from playing the game'"

When did you realize that school shootings were a possibility?

"After the Florida school shooting in 2016, I had just changed my major to education and I started thinking like, what would I do if that happened? How would I react? But it wasn't until I was a student teaching this semester that the reality really set in. We had a shooting drill where we, me, the teacher, and the students, had to hide behind the teacher's desk in the corner.

"Even though it was only practice, some of the kids were still scared and as I was comforting them I started thinking, what if this actually happened? Would I be able to comfort them the same way I am now? Would I be able to protect all of them? Would I be able to react fast enough? You can try and mentally prepare yourself for something like that but it is totally different when you see the fear and confusion on the kid's faces, even just in a drill."

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