I wasn’t planning on writing again until after the Sky Blue FC trip to Japan, so I could share our trip with all of you readers. Plans change though! I started thinking about how truly blessed I was to be able to go on this trip to Japan, something that I have always wanted to experience. The upcoming trip really got me contemplating society and how trapped we all are. I am grateful to have grown up near one of the greatest cities in the world, New York. Since I have been home the past few months, I have gone into Manhattan every weekend, and made an effort to challenge and extend myself into this cultural outlet that I have never fully taken advantage of. While roaming the streets, however, I couldn’t get past how digitally connected every single person was in this huge city.
It’s amazing how globalization has made our world small enough to fit onto our iPhones, BlackBerries, blueberries, strawberries, iPads, computers, and just about any device that can connect to Wi-Fi. I was with some family the other day and I couldn’t help but admire the sense of wonder my 1-year-old cousin had when he saw a balloon fly up to the ceiling. Have we been so consumed with technology that we’ve simply lost our sense of wonder?
Nothing is surprising to us anymore when you can see something bigger and better through YouTube, Tumblr, or Google. Living vicariously through friends’ photos and videos on Facebook and Twitter have suddenly become a part of our every day lives, whether we choose to accept it or not. I am not a robot. I see them every day, though. I was walking around Brooklyn the other day and I saw someone texting and she walked straight into a telephone pole. If you’re laughing, it’s because you’ve seen it before too! I’d be lying to you if I told you I didn’t use my phone all day, because I do. That is something I seriously want to change though. I think our individual worlds could use a fresh perspective; maybe stepping out from behind the camera lens of our smartphones, and using our own eyes and ears and nose for a change, can possibly expose us to something new and exciting.
Experiencing different cultures and ways of life is, in my opinion, an integral part of growing as a human being. I have been blessed with having soccer in my life to bring me to other countries, build relationships with different people, and experience others beliefs and cultures. I do not know if, at this point in my life, I would have experienced the world the way I have if not for soccer, and I am grateful to have been given that opportunity. Soccer was my “something” – my way to experience the world and discover myself. I think everybody has that “something” though. Each and every one of us has some sort of passion or talent that, if used properly, will allow us to see the world in a different light. I understand that not everybody can drop what they’re doing and travel the world, but can we not seek out our own happiness through our passions? Does being bound to computer screens and televisions really pale in comparison to the real thing? Ironic how you are probably reading this right now on some sort of device, right? Funny how the only way for me to reach you is through technology, when that is exactly the thing I think we could step away from for just a moment.
Stemming from my last blog about inner peace, I think the first step to this is conquering yourself first, and experiencing something new. I came across a quote the other day from Aristotle that I loved: “I count him braver who overcomes his desires than he who conquers his enemies; for the hardest victory is over self”. It’s the little victories over self that help shape the type of people we become. Even if it is something as small overcoming a fear of yours or trying something you’ve never done before. Challenge yourself to step outside of the box that so many of us are trapped in. Just once, and it will be contagious.
I am writing this to you all while I am sitting on the return train home from Manhattan. My excitement is building up for the upcoming trip to Japan, and before I leave I really just wanted to encourage anyone who reads this to do something to better themselves. It could be anything really! Learn, grow, and surprise yourself! I can’t wait to share my trip to Japan with my friends and family, and I hope at least one of you are inspired to do something that you want to share with the ones you love as well.
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