By Chris Shaddock
How’s it going everyone?
Welcome back! I hope everyone had an awesome summer. Half of mine was spent in South Korea while the other half was spent working at a warehouse putting stickers on cable boxes.
It is good to be back in school. Last semester I studied abroad in Greece, so I have been gone for a while. I missed a lot of things about DeSales. I missed the scenery, I missed my friends and teachers and I even missed the food a little bit.
Studying abroad allowed me to step away from my normal life and look at it from a new perspective. I learned a lot about myself in the process. I learned that I should be more open with people and that I should socialize more often. Most importantly, it taught me to appreciate what I have.
There is one quote my dad told me a few months ago, “God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference.” It is a prayer written by the theologian Reinhold Niebuhr. To be honest, I am not all that religious, but I love the philosophy behind this prayer. In its essence, it is about appreciating the things you have and can attain.
Typically, I take for granted how lucky I am. My family lives a comfortable life, but I still envy those who are wealthier than me. I am in good health, but I still want a better body and I am well-educated, but I always wish I was born a genius. Pining after these things we can never have is pointless, and essentially detrimental to bettering our lives.
Occasionally, we all get into slumps, and feel dissatisfied at not being where we want to be in life. In times like that it is important to look back to where you were in life a year ago. Most people would be surprised at how far they have come since then. While you may not be where you want to be in life, it does not necessarily mean you are not on the right track.
Appreciating your loved ones is also important. They should be the best thing about your life, and the sad fact is they may not always be around. Spend as much time with them as you can, and if you cannot do that, at least let them know how great they are.
It all comes down to loving your life and the things within it. Appreciate all the gifts that have been given to you and all the lessons you have learned. It is not necessarily easy to have appreciation, and I personally struggle with the concept at times. But just trying to enjoy the good things about your life is the first step loving your life.
Before I wrap this up, I just want to welcome everyone back. It should be an interesting year. And for those of you who are new to the school, whether you be faculty, transfer or freshmen, welcome to DeSales. I hope you appreciate your time here.
Take care, DeSales.