The Anti-list Manifesto

Ten things every human should know:

  1. Love is the essence of life and all understanding
  2. Spend time with yourself
  3. You will get out of life what you put into it
  4. Sometimes the things you thought were the biggest mistakes turn out to be the greatest blessings
  5. Carpe Diem
  6. Try new things
  7. Explore the world
  8. Reach for the stars
  9. Pause. Breathe. Exhale.
    And then?
  10. Throw out numbers 1 thru 9…

Challenge the status quo by taking over-simplified bullet points and turning them into complex words and paragraphs that take energy to decipher. Push yourself to articulate observations and integrate experiences that speak to your heart through rich meaning and understanding. Refrain from speaking generally and instead focus on the various resources and opportunities that call you to action. Break the social norm and bring a new light to former lists that provide a framework for how to live. There are infinitely more than “20 things that every 20-something should do.” Get creative. Think for yourself. Inspire knowledge within by seeking opportunities that captivate your soul.

Use these lists as a guide, but do not take them for fact. The most dangerous trap is taking something at face value and believing it just because it’s convenient. Be wary of easy. The easier the challenge, the less opportunity for growth. When you want to resign to lists, ask yourself why? Your motives provide key clues to your actions and ultimate outcome.

Simple is easy to digest, but it is also easy to contradict. It is easy to agree with and easy to forget. The word itself defines its potential and perpetuates apathetic engagement.

In a world ripe with information, it seems silly to settle for simple. I understand the value of removing distraction and “getting to the point”, but I refuse to think that people should orient their lives around something as concrete as a list.

I believe there is beauty in descriptive words. There is beauty in explanation and reflection. Imagery, alliteration and detail provide our imaginations with thoughts and ideas to deliberate and discuss. Words bring definition and power to otherwise meaningless observations. Words explain, define, create and elaborate on experiences that enrich our lives and grow us into the individuals we hope to become.

Live in list and you’ll miss your life. Live in the moment and you might just be surprised at what you’ll find…

Categories: Alumni Blogs, Other

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