I’m not entirely sure when it became cool to not care. There’s been an era of detached cool kids in our media, unimpressed with their world, and in my opinion, unimpressive. A lack of caring just seems so boring. It’s exciting to see this don’t-care mentality becoming less and less common!
In my community and school, I’ve found a lot of people who are true to their passions and unafraid to share their excitement. Students join and start clubs to share their interests, give out compliments and support to their peers, share their thoughts freely in speech and in writing. I’ve been lucky to attend a high school that fosters a forum for discussion, and an atmosphere of support. I’ve also been lucky to be raised in a home sparkling with joy and curiosity. My family taught me to ask questions when something catches my interest, to point out and appreciate the little things that are for whatever reason absolutely amazing-- that patch of sunflowers we passed on the way to dinner, the pattern in a splotch of pen ink, or the way the light hits the pine tree just beyond our backyard fence.
Someone recently told me that they think I live my life with “unironic enthusiasm.” Apparently, this concept was put into words by a Vlogbrothers video, and I have possibly never been so flattered by a term in my entire life! Authenticity is really important to me. I think being yourself and being honest makes life a lot easier, and I’ve been working hard, to be honest in every aspect, but most especially about the things that make me happy.
Excitement is contagious! My mother taught me to hand out compliments the same way we hand out candy on Halloween-- that is to say, in handfuls so big you fear running out. But if you run out, you just start giving away the popsicles in the freezer! So you can never really hand out too many!
I’ve watched people dismiss a friendly face as “too nice,” as if a tendency towards kindness made every kind expression a lie. I’ve watched people write off excitement as ditziness, emotion as a lack of control, optimism as naïveté. It’s time we move into something less stifling. The world in which it’s cool to share how you’re feeling, and within that, to share your excitement!
I think this change has already begun. I see it in the way my friends squeal over cute cute cute dogs (over literally every dog). I see it in the honest answers I’ve begun to receive when I ask how someone is doing, how their day is going. I see it in people's’ eyes when they talk about the things they love. Have you ever fallen into a conversation about someone’s passion? I once chatted with a friend about the intricacies of Google’s language translator and the computer science behind it, and it was one of the most exciting conversations I’ve ever had. I know next to nothing about computer science, a lot of what was said went right over my head. But the interest my friend expressed lit up their eyes, and in turn lit something in me. Like I said, excitement is contagious!
So share the things that interest you, that make you happy. And compliment people, as much as you like! Be supportive, ask questions. Show an interest and you’ll get interested because listening to someone talk about something they’re passionate about is absolutely awesome! Love and joy are so easy to share. It's as easy as a quick smile. And I find that sharing a smile or a compliment always makes me feel warm too.
So why not be enthusiastic? Be in love with the world, and a million random things in it! And then tell the world about the things you love, just like the people in this awesome Discovery Channel video: