Speech motivating people to stop taking life for granted.

Essay by dracnomHigh School, 12th grade April 2007

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“You never know what you have until it’s gone.”In this modern contemporary society, we are flooded with images of success, money and power, but have you actually delved deeper into society’s façade and what it means to be alive? As a psychologist, I have encountered numerous individuals with diverse dilemmas, each one unique in their own way, but many have one thing in common, they take life for granted.

Human beings have a curious capacity to take things for granted. The most exquisite diamond loses its lustre with familiarity. The most compatible intimate becomes boring. Miracles like the daily sunrise fail to astonish because they’re commonplace! Repetition and time dull our sense of wonder. We endow novelty with powers and attributes that it does not really possess. When a thing becomes familiar to us, the mystery we have projected onto it is lost. We see it without the overlay of our imaginings.

The irony in this idiosyncrasy of human character is that we are disappointed by the very things that used to excite us.

The most profound patient that has ever crossed my path was a young girl suffering from spinocerebellar degeneration, a terrible disease where the cerebellum of the brain gradually deteriorates to the point where the victim cannot walk, speak, write, or eat. This girl was around 17 and was smoothly voyaging through year 11 when she was diagnosed with the disease. Enrolled in a top selective high school with a bright prospect ahead, the heart wrenching news brought tears to her eyes for the many sessions we had together, it pained my heart to see her journey suddenly cut short. The question she asked me “why me, why do I have to die early?” left me at a crossroad, paths lay before me as I tried to...