Take a Look Around; What Will You See?

2010 CRWM people map

Hey guys, hope everyone is surviving exam/essay season, but I think it’s time to look beyond the books for a minute. Sometimes we get so wrapped up in the stress of our own lives that we block out the rest of the world, we forget to watch the news, or turn on the radio, or pick up a newspaper.

For those who haven’t heard, this past August a three-storey apartment building on Adelaide, in London, burned down. So what? That was months ago! Yet just this week my friend decided to start a conversation with a woman sleeping on the street. What would you know; she lived in that apartment building, and has been living in a homeless shelter since. More than four months later and still the town has not been able to relocate the residents. This woman has a stable job and a family, but in that fire she lost everything.

I was humbled by this story; here I am worrying about a few essays at the end of the month, and here she is, a few blocks away, her life torn apart. I’m not saying that we all have it easy, or that our stress isn’t valid, only that sometimes listening to real stories like this, about very real people going through a difficult time, can be the motivation you need to stop complaining and feeling sorry for yourself.

We are at University of Western Ontario for goodness sake, enjoy it, and at the end of the day remember to look beyond the gates. Next time you need a break, instead of watching Netflix for all hours, watch the news, or better yet, bundle up, go outside, and talk to people! This world is shared by over 7 billion human beings, each with an incredible story of their own to tell, so go out there and find one, or share yours, or just give a stranger a smile, expand your world a little bit each day.

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