Occhiolism: (n.) the awareness of the smallness of your perspective in the scheme of the universe.

If there is a lesson to be learned by living in a European city for an extended period of time, it's that one is a speck in the scheme of human development. (If you learn anything else, and this is not based on experience, it's never to ask for ice cubes in your wine. Yes, people do that, I know.) In viewing Greco-Roman architecture and art, it's always a surprise to see how evolved our ancient ancestors were because in school, it seems to be that we are always taught that the millennials are the smartest, best, brightest, and pavers of the future, and that these people only merely laid a foundation for us. However, to lay a foundation, one has to be pretty damn smart.

But here is my question in the midst of all of this anthropological glory: did these people know that what they were creating would be an art that endured for (what seems to us to be) infinitely?

Currently, I sit before the Kölner Dom (for those who do not know, a Gothic cathedral of which the city is centered around). It not only endured the horrors of World War II (most stained glass windows included), but its blueprints were lost for years before their discovery enshrouding fruit in a market. From my position, one has to lean back in order to take in the full monstrosity of the cathedral, and only then is one's eyesight allowed partial view. Inside, it has an omnipresence that, throughout, emits omnipotence, making sure one is aware of who's in charge.

Then I have to wonder: how can only two men have worked to build something this big?

Perhaps these individuals were aware of the minisculality of themselves in the greater scheme of the universe, and thereby shifted the paradigm, creating a paradox, where they contributed something greater than themselves. Normally, we make ourselves the center of the universe, but they made the universe the center of themselves. Maybe one has to dig within in order to push something out, for most immortalized philosophies, such as those of Confucious or Aristotle, scientific discoveries (Einstein, Marie Curie, etc.), and popular literary works such as those written by Shakespeare, Harper Lee, Scripture, etc., originated from the minds of single people, who drew upon the universe surrounding them. In turn, they created a universe within themselves, ultimately projecting it outward as a contribution to the development of humanity.

Maybe it's less important that they didn't know what they were creating, but rather moreso that they were doing the act of creating itself, for when one creates, one is exploring the nature of humanity and allowing us to better understand ourselves. I find that whenever I experience a wave of occhiolism, I feel the most at peace with myself. I think this feeling stems from the fact that we are all simple specks in the scheme of the universe.

But in the end, it is us, humanity, that makes the univerese our universe.

Cover Image Credit: http://mizmags713.vsco.co

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8 Reasons Why My Dad Is the Most Important Man In My Life

Forever my number one guy.

Growing up, there's been one consistent man I can always count on, my father. In any aspect of my life, my dad has always been there, showing me unconditional love and respect every day. No matter what, I know that my dad will always be the most important man in my life for many reasons.

1. He has always been there.

Literally. From the day I was born until today, I have never not been able to count on my dad to be there for me, uplift me and be the best dad he can be.

2. He learned to adapt and suffer through girly trends to make me happy.

I'm sure when my dad was younger and pictured his future, he didn't think about the Barbie pretend pageants, dressing up as a princess, perfecting my pigtails and enduring other countless girly events. My dad never turned me down when I wanted to play a game, no matter what and was always willing to help me pick out cute outfits and do my hair before preschool.

3. He sends the cutest texts.

Random text messages since I have gotten my own cell phone have always come my way from my dad. Those randoms "I love you so much" and "I am so proud of you" never fail to make me smile, and I can always count on my dad for an adorable text message when I'm feeling down.

4. He taught me how to be brave.

When I needed to learn how to swim, he threw me in the pool. When I needed to learn how to ride a bike, he went alongside me and made sure I didn't fall too badly. When I needed to learn how to drive, he was there next to me, making sure I didn't crash.

5. He encourages me to best the best I can be.

My dad sees the best in me, no matter how much I fail. He's always there to support me and turn my failures into successes. He can sit on the phone with me for hours, talking future career stuff and listening to me lay out my future plans and goals. He wants the absolute best for me, and no is never an option, he is always willing to do whatever it takes to get me where I need to be.

6. He gets sentimental way too often, but it's cute.

Whether you're sitting down at the kitchen table, reminiscing about your childhood, or that one song comes on that your dad insists you will dance to together on your wedding day, your dad's emotions often come out in the cutest possible way, forever reminding you how loved you are.

7. He supports you, emotionally and financially.

Need to vent about a guy in your life that isn't treating you well? My dad is there. Need some extra cash to help fund spring break? He's there for that, too.

8. He shows me how I should be treated.

Yes, my dad treats me like a princess, and I don't expect every guy I meet to wait on me hand and foot, but I do expect respect, and that's exactly what my dad showed I deserve. From the way he loves, admires, and respects me, he shows me that there are guys out there who will one day come along and treat me like that. My dad always advises me to not put up with less than I deserve and assures me that the right guy will come along one day.

For these reasons and more, my dad will forever be my No. 1 man. I love you!

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The Fire In The Notre Dame Cathedral Is A World Tragedy

This article is my opinion about the Notre Dame tragedy



1. On Monday the city of Paris, France, was hit with a tragedy as one of the most famous Cathedrals in the world caught fire.

2. The cause of the fire is unknown, however, police do not believe this was an act of terror or arson.

3. As of today, roughly about a billion dollars have been donated to help rebuild this historical landmark.

4. Officials believe that the fire may have been an electrical problem.

Here are some pictures of the damage the fire caused to the Cathedral

CBS News

CBS News

The picture above stands out so much to me because despite all of the damage done to the cathedral, the cross at the head of the alter still remains standing.

CBS News

CBS News

What truly warms my heart about this devastating tragedy is that people all over the world have come together for the people of France and the Catholic community. As a Catholic girl, it is very sad to me to see such a beautiful historical landmark of my religion be demolished by this fire. It especially warms my heart to see places such as the World Trade Center Monument and Empire State Building in New York City shine the blue white and red flag colors of France in solidarity with the citizens of France and the Catholic community.

A Cathedral with over 800 years of history in it is now partially gone. The architecture of that building may never be restored as we do not have the same building materials and wood type that was present in the 13th century. It is truly a miracle that parts of the Cathedral are still standing such as the altar, the stained glass, and more. I hope that this building will be restored to its former glory so that another 800 years of history can continue to be made there.

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