Finding myself so in love with life that I cannot bring myself to focus on my studies… This time last year I spent hours upon hours in the library. The thought of that now is tortuous; I just want to get out and begin changing the world already. What am I waiting for?
I doubt you have ever heard the name Lauren Spierer. Around here, that’s really all I ever hear these days. It’s the name of a 20 year old fellow student of mine; she was a daughter, a sister, and a close friend of many who go to my university. She disappeared in the early hours of the morning after a long night of underage drinking and mingling with boys. She disappeared without a trace; no leads, no suspects, no clues left behind to where she might have gone. Her parents have been searching with no avail since June 3rd, when they first heard their daughter did not return to the safe enclosure of her apartment.
Last week, the Union Board I serve on helped to bring awareness to her disappearance and ask her friends to speak up, break the silence, and to shine light on the devastating loss of a lovely young girl. We held a free concert in her honor and expected over 7,000 students and community members to unite to Shine 4 Lauren.
As if a sign from God, the skies poured that night. I couldn’t see the difference between everyone’s tears and raindrops. But despite the thunder and rain, the crowd fought the urge to return to their warm and comfortable homes. “Fix you” by Coldplay was sung, home videos and pictures of Lauren were shared, her parents spoke, and the disappearance of Lauren hit home to everyone. It was a powerful night, especially to me as I was surrounded by over one hundred friends who joined us in song and celebration. Any of one them could have been in Lauren’s shoes.
The concert opened by an artist named Clayton Anderson who sang “All for You” by Sister Hazel. The lyrics are frighteningly applicable and gave me chills:
Finally I figured out,
But it took a long long time
Now there’s a turnabout,
Maybe cause I’m tryin’
There’s been times, I’m so confused
Down my road, will it lead to you?
Just can’t turn and walk away
It’s hard to say what it is I see in you
Wonder if I’ll always be with you
Words can’t say it, I can’t do
Enough to prove, it’s all for you
Lauren’s mother recently sent a thank-you email to the concert organizers and a few words have stuck with me. If you haven’t read any of this post, at least take these few words into heart. “Enjoy every day, work hard, and take care of each other.”
Consider how your actions and loss would affect those around you, consider how much you might mean to a person who you barely know, consider the importance of personal responsibility and self control. Let us love one another.
I have recently been reminded of the importance of having true friends. I don’t mean the girls you can always rely on to go to the bars every Friday, I mean the real genuine friend you can call in the middle of the work day and tell her about your family troubles. I mean the friends that know your favorite dessert and save you an extra piece for you when you’re off work. I mean the friends that stay up with you and keep you company while you’re cramming for a big test the next morning.
You can have all the material possessions in the world but at the end of the day, that new Louis Vuitton bag won’t be there to honor to you at your funeral. Friendships and kindness are what matter most; without them, there isn’t much to be grateful for.
Us ladies (especially college-aged) need to evaluate our friendships and sincerely think about how good of a friend we are in return. Did you answer the phone last time your friend called at 2 am crying? Did you offer her a ride early in the morning so she didn’t have to walk in the rain?
I’m going to focus this next week on being a good friend, someone who I would want to have in my life in return. I think if we all do the same thing and consciously attempt to be good friends, we will all feel a little more happiness in this world. What do you think? How do you show your friends you appreciate them?
Imagine there is a bank that credits your account each morning with $86,000. It carries over no balance from day to day. Every evening the bank deletes whatever part of the balance your failed to use during the day. What would you do? Draw out every cent, of course.
Each of us has such a bank. Its name is time. Every morning, it credits you with 86,000 seconds. Every night it writes off as lost, whatever of this you have failed to invest to a good purpose. It carries over no balance. It allows no over draft. Each day it opens a new account for you. Each night it burns the remains of the day. If you fail to use the day’s deposits, the loss is yours.
There is no drawing against “tomorrow”. You must live in the present on today’s deposits. Invest it so as to get from it the utmost in health, happiness, and success. The clock is running. Make the most of today.” —