Realizing Life (Because it’s Going to Happen, Whether You Realize it or Not)

“Wow, all of these people are listening to me”.

That’s the startlingly intelligent thought I had yesterday while giving a speech to 150 students at a conference I helped organize at my school. It was a leadership conference, and so my speech was about leadership. I had practiced it countless times, and had most of it memorized, so I’m not surprised that my mind wandered a bit while I gave it.

I was surprised, though, by what I thought while 300 eyes were focused on me.

I guess it was kind of a moment of self-awareness. It was really cool to think about the fact that people were listening to what I was saying, and that for those 10 minutes, I was the main focus of their attention (or, at least, I hope I was).

There is a quote from the novel Our Town by Thorton Wilder, that says, “Do any human beings ever realize life while they live it?” I can’t help but think that this was an example of that. I was completely in the moment, and looking back, I probably shouldn’t have let my mind wander as it did.

But I was living my life, and realizing it, and I think there is so much to be said for thinking about how awesome things are while they’re happening. Because, truth be told, life is really just a collection of moments, strung together and tied with ribbon. The moments are going to happen, whether we realize the significance of them or not; but if we realize the significance, then we enlighten ourselves. And through the actions that we take, we are also fortunate to be able to enlighten others, to create a community of people realizing life while they live it.

 

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