three things melanie hamilton taught me about life & love

English: Cropped screenshot of Olivia de Havil...

(WARNING: there will be a huge spoiler for Gone with the Wind in this post.)

1. Look for the best in others, even if everyone wants to punch them.

I can be a little harsh when it comes to deciding whether or not I like a person. I look for warning signs, or bad habits, but sometimes I forget to look at the good sides of people. We all have that one person we can’t stand, whether it’s our bratty little sister or the creepy  bus driver. But no matter how annoying/weird/disturbing a person might seem, you can always find something good in them. Maybe it’s their humor, or their courage. Whatever it is, if you open your eyes, you’ll find good qualities in all people you meet. Never think you’re above anyone.

2. Be loving and kind, even when others are not.

A lot of people are jerks, period. But one thing I’ve found out in life is that jerks just make more jerks. Someone’s a jerk to us, and we reciprocate and sometimes even adopt that behavior…even if we’re not aware of it. If you choose to be loving and kind instead, it can change a person; and then other times, not so much. Either way, when you choose to be good to everyone around you, most people will not only notice, but it’ll make them feel good as well. Then that love and kindness gets passed on to others.

3. Kind people don’t die alone.

Yeah, this one says it all. I mean, yeah, it’s obvious…but have you ever noticed that no matter how hot, successful and outgoing Scarlett was, people were more into Melanie, and were there for her when she was dying? There’s a reason for that. It doesn’t matter how cool you are, because inner beauty is far more precious than physical beauty. In the end, people will always remember you for the person you were, and kindness is something that is never forgotten.

Thoughts: Who else is a fan of Gone with the Wind? Who’s your favorite character (mine, as you can see is obviously Melanie, duh) and why?

Why Do We Wait?

I’ve been thinking  about the Aurora shooting lately, and it’s SO amazing how something so tragic can bring so many people together. To be honest, it’s amazing how any death, whether it’s twelve people or one person, can bring the whole world together. Whether it’s 9/11 or a celebrity, death has a way of making us human beings appreciate life and people way more than we usually do.

But my question is, why?

Why do we wait for these things to happen before we start appreciating something as simple as being alive? Why is it we tell people we love them after they’ve left us?

The one thing that the Aurora shooting has taught me—and loads of other folks—is that we really don’t know when we’re going to have to say goodbye forever. We don’t know if our plane is going to land safely, or if the phone call we share with a loved one is going to be the last time we hear their voice. We don’t know if we’re going to get home tonight.

We don’t know if we’re going to come out of a movie theater alive.

What we do know, however, is that we still have time. There’s still a moment to enjoy the sunset; there’s still a few seconds to let another person know how loved they are. Because, even though I’m seventeen and have “all the time in the world” to enjoy this life, I don’t want to wait until tomorrow before I start appreciating what I’ve got. I might not get tomorrow…or the next thirty seconds. I don’t want to wait until my loved one is in a coffin before I tell them how much they mean to me, because the only thing worse than not enjoying your life is not loving the people who are part of it.

I want to enjoy life now while I’m still here to enjoy it. I want to love people while they’re still here to feel it.

Truth is, these tragedies are not going to go away, but they are not going to make me live in fear. If anything, they’ve encouraged me to live in love.

 

I hope you do the same.

How You Can Change The World In 24 Hours

When you think of a world-changer, who comes to your mind?

Maybe it’s this guy:

Martin Luther King leaning on a lectern. Deuts...

Martin Luther King. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Or maybe you’re thinking of her:

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J.K. Rowling (Photo credit: Daniel Ogren)

But you’re forgetting someone, and that person is you.

When people think of a world-changer, they think of someone who’s feeding hungry babies and selling more records than Justin Bieber, and in a sense, that’s true; but no one ever thinks of themselves as a world-changer.

The truth is, you don’t need to be a best-selling author or a movie star in order to have an influence on this world. You are already influencing the world.

You’re not J.K. Rowling, so you think your words don’t matter; you’re not Martin Luther, so of course your actions probably don’t mean a thing. You’re not on the cover of US Weekly and your YouTube videos haven’t gone viral, so it doesn’t matter what you do or say. No one is paying attention anyway.

That’s not true.

What is true, however, is that we are all world-changers. There is no secret club to get into, and there’s definitely no limit to how many people are allowed to “change the world”. You’re no different than the people you admire. We all have something to share and a story to tell, and if you are willing to give it to the world, we’ll take it. We may hate it; we may love it. But we will take it, and it will change somebody’s world out there. Change won’t happen over-night, but it will happen a lot faster if people just believed that they were enough.

The world-changer is the girl who sits with the nerdy boy during lunch-time; the world-changer is the man who helps the little old lady carry her groceries back to her car.

You don’t need to be on the iTunes top 10 to have your music change a person’s life, or a million dollars to put a smile on a child’s face. You don’t need fame or fortune.

All you need is yourself. All you need is today and the 24 hours of possibility that it offers.

So finish up that novel of yours, and don’t be afraid to upload that YouTube skit, regardless of how many hits it gets.

You’re human, therefore you are a world-changer. Own it.

I Don’t Get It. Wait—! Nope. Still Don’t Get It.

my • golden • retriever

(Photo credit: origamidon)

There are just some things people do that I don’t get. Like, at all.

So today I was driving back home from a class, and I can’t tell you how many times I will see bumper stickers with the words “My child is an honor student at such and such school.”

Okay, I don’t mean to be hard, but…really? Seriously? C’mon. Would you walk up to a random person and be like, “Hello, random stranger! Did you know that my kiddos are honor students at their school?! I have such intelligent offspring, don’t I?”

I mean, really? You choose to decorative your car, and that’s the best you can do?

Then there’s the whole texting thing. Like almost every teenager, I LOVE texting, but I will never understand why people, whether it’s your best friend, or your aunt Helga, will send you a text asking you to call them. It makes sense if they’ve already tried calling you, and leaving you a voice mail, and now texting is their last option, but besides that…why are you asking me to call you, when you can call me yourself?

Unless, you’re embarrassed to or something.

And, last but not least….amusement park lines.

Oh, man.

Alright, let me get this straight: some people will actually wait in line for an hour or two, just to ride a ride that lasts for…two minutes…?

Ooookay, then.

I don’t get bragging. I don’t understand why people can’t just call you themselves. I don’t want to wait in a three hour line for a three minute ride.

I guess there’s just some things in life we will never understand, no matter how many times people try to explain them to us. That can make us feel like outsiders at times. But the good news is, we get to have a sense of humor about it. I love that about life. No matter how stupid or overwhelming it can get, we can just laugh it off and learn not to take it all so seriously.

What’s something that you don’t get? Let’s laugh about it together.