Just took a look through my Freshman yearbook. I am a Junior now. That was two years ago. I looked through all the pictures of my class and the class ahead of me.
It’s interesting: in truth, there is a certain sadness that surrounds the memories of my past. Seeing photos of people who have changed now. People you don’t talk to. People who are long gone, attending other schools, living in other cities, gone from your life forever.
It’s sad. Might not be sad to other people, but it’s sad for me. Sometimes I think about the person that I was. Even as a Freshman, Sophomore. I was different. Better or worse as a person, I cannot say. Just different. The world was different. People were different. They looked different and behaved differently. They had different morals and goals and principles.
And yet, at the end of the day, we are still here. Through the years, I am alive. And well. And more mature and intelligent and individualistic. I am here. So are many others. We are all in the same bubble, and it surpasses even the thought of time.
Sadness might accompany the memories of my past, and uncertainty and longing shroud my future, but at the end of the day: we live for right now. The moment one forgets that, the moment one’s world takes a dark turn. Thoughts go rampant. Feelings go uncontrolled. That’s how I feel.
I think about the people and the experiences we’ve had. The experiences I’ve had with myself. Comparing it to right now, they seem like such foolish and “immature” things to think about. But in truth, I don’t know if that is entirely true. I was immature and foolish, but who is not at that age or even this age? Two years ago or right now, we act immature sometimes and make foolish mistakes. It’s a part of being human. But being sad and disappointed of one’s past: that’s a different matter. Being sad not only in one’s past, but the past experiences of others as well. How people have changed. As a society, and as individuals: people are different and will continue to be different. That is a fact of life.
A key question to ask is: how does this affect ones’ self. How do the pasts of my own life and others lives affect how I live now?
A wise man would answer: they don’t, and they do. Both at the same time, always and forever. One can choose to learn from mistakes and try and change their life, or one can refuse to let anything or anyone affect them. They both go down paths with strengths and weaknesses.
It’s interesting: I’ve been down both paths. I used to not give a rat’s ass about what anyone thought about me or what the world was like or society and the people in it. I cannot say I was entirely “happy”, but I was dedicated, confident, headstrong, and quick-witted. Immature and foolish too.
Now, I would say that I do care more for people and society as a whole. Not entirely what they think of me, but who they are: they are people. People who feel and who think, who create and laugh and cry and fight and argue as I do. We have all these things in common. Now, I am sociable, intelligent, dedicated; but others issues plague my inner being: chastity, honesty, virtue, and most importantly: happiness. Am I more happy giving more of a shit about people and society? About my past experiences with people? Past feelings and how they’ve affected me(or how they AFFECT me right now?)
I don’t know. I know I shouldn’t be saying that, but it is the truth: I do not know if I am happier having all these people in my life around. Love and friendship is one thing, but I believe I live in a society that has little love or friendship at all. I believe that I looking back into the past and into my yearbook and examining all the faces of all the people who are in my class, used to be in my class, who are dead or alive or a punk rock or a prostitute or some jock athlete or cheerleader, is worthless. Looking and thinking about the past with people who are not truly in your life or who you do not give a shit about you is worthless. They do not affect your life or your heart or your being: they only affect the thoughts that swirl around in your mind.
Society affects your mind. It is people and love that affects your heart and your life.
I once knew this to be the truth. I once held it dear. Society makes you forget that truth. Since I was a Freshman, that Mexican kid I saw in that yearbook picture from two years ago, society has brought me down to its level; its level of thinking, level of living. Barely a stone throw away from stupidity and ignorance, injustice and hatred.
But the people in my life have looked out for me. Friends. Family. And most importantly: myself. In the end, it is the individual that a soul is given. Albert Einstein was right and true in those words. And it is individuals sharing and giving love and showing compassion that affects people’s lives and saves them from the abyss of society.
Love. Show compassion. Give. Be a friend. Learn from your friends and loved ones.
I can never forget the world I live in, or the people in it. Even all those people in the yearbook. You cannot forget; you can never forget. A fool forgets. And although you might not always be able to understand, there stands one thing that everyone in this world and the next need to do when it comes to society, the people in it, the people of your past, and your own past person: understand.
Understand. Reflect. Never forget.