Them Young Talks: Ignorance, Improvement, and the Meaning of Life

There is only two weeks of school left. The thought of it scares me a little bit, but as always, I gotta do what I gotta do, just gonna power through. I took a moment to think back about how much I have achieved this semester. Quite frankly, people change, and I certainly have matured a whole lot. This semester also went a lot smoother than the last one. Just something that I am proud of. I started reading the first article I wrote this semester, and I was wrong.

A semester ago, I believed that success is everybody’s dream and material wealth is something everyone desires. What this semester taught me is that success is not important at all. I was naïve to think that way. Everything is about the process–it is about change, it is about how our mindsets change over time. (I’m feeling like DJ Khaled) It’s about how we power through obstacles, because, in the words of the legendary DJ Khaled, “those that weather the storm are the great ones.” The process is so important because we grow through mistakes and obstacles, and the significance of the process simply overwhelms that of success. If you work hard enough, if you persist enough, if you are willing to learn and take on challenges, success entails the process.

This is true for everything: swim, school, the Coop, everything in my life. There are so many events going around us; sometimes I feel like I cannot learn everything all at once. (And for those that believe life is boring, you’re not living it right.) If we can just take a moment, five seconds, ten seconds, just sit down on a bench and observe hard enough, so many things go on around us. When we are presented with opportunities to learn and to change, we can’t just say “nah, fam” to them. That’s just utterly stubborn to think that way.

Especially at the Claremont Colleges, we can easily pinpoint issues and aspects of life of which we are ignorant. For me personally, I was ignorant about the social issues around me until the Claremont Colleges opened my eyes and showed me that I was blind. Swim too. What I wasn’t aware of initially is that swim is not just about swimming. It is about the countless stories that make up the team. The stories of every individual that made people themselves, the stories and experiences of the current swim team, and the history, are all things we can learn so much from, to improve our existing self, to broaden our horizons.

And thus, I have come to the conclusion that life is not about success. To think that way is the equivalent of being shallow. It is not about getting rich. It’s about improvement. It’s about learning. It is about being a sage, instead of a wealthy man. It is about being intellectually wealthy. So I will leave you with DJ Khaled quotes again. “They’ll try to close the door on you… Just open it.” “Always have Faith. Always have Hope.” “Bless Up.” Peace.

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