Life is beautiful.

La vie en rose. There is so much in life that we have to be thankful for;
it greatly surpasses that which we would rather do without. There are
always different paths we can take, it's only our decision to take them.
There is never only "one way", there is never only "one answer". We just
have to be brave and determined enough, we have to want to badly enough, to
take the unknown road. Who knows? Maybe it will lead us somewhere exciting.
At any rate, it will be an adventure. We learn something from it, be it
good or ill. Everything we experience, we learn something from. There are
so many lessons we can benefit from in our lifetime. It's only a matter of
seeing. Seeing. That is what man does not, will not, do. Oh, he has the
ability to, but he refuses to look beyond. He will not open his eyes to the
beauty of the world. And there is so much beauty, all around us. I find it
is nearly impossible to miss. Everything, great and small, is beautiful. We
do not have to be in some secluded haven untouched by anyone but ourselves.
We can find beauty right where we are.

Are mornings not beautiful? Is it not beautiful when the sun first begins
to rise, its first rays of light streaking the entire sky? When all the
world is born again, and the strange mists of twilight fade away to reveal
everything in a primal brilliance? And the birds! Have you ever stopped
just to listen to them? They sing out, regardless of how they are feeling,
not caring whether it's sunny or rainy. They love life. They know it is not
something to dread, it is not something to fear. If it were, they would
never have gotten up the courage to leave their nest. They must be so
frightened the first time they open their wings, standing on the edge of
the branch. Looking down, they see nothing. But yet imagine the soaring
feeling in their heart when they take the leap and they find that they
don't need anything under their feet. All they need is their hope and their
faith and love.

Change is always about us, forcing us to spread our wings and fly.
Sometimes it is good, sometimes it isn't, but we can't do anything to stop
it. It comes and goes of its own accord. We just have to go with it and
take it as it comes. As long as we face our challenges with an open mind
and a fearless heart, we'll get along fine.

People always seem not to be content. They are always hungering for more.
This is not necessarily a bad thing, but it can be degrading if it is too
extreme. You must learn to live for the moment and love what you have. So
many times, people have told me that they wish they could see into the
future. Think carefully. Would you really want that? Would you really,
truly want to know everything that happens before it does? I wouldn't.
Imagine if you saw something terrible; how would you be able to live before
that terrible thing happened? You wouldn't; you would be so set on worrying
about that, you would forget about all else. I am satisfied with taking
life one moment at a time. Another thing. People are always telling me that
they want to live forever. Again, think about it. I am sure at first you
would be very, very happy that you had forever to do everything you wanted.
But with immortality comes pain. You would be happy, perhaps until those
that you loved and cared for died, and you were left to live on. You would
be happy, until you had read every book that every library had to offer.
You would be happy, until you had travelled the world and seen everything
in it. How long really would you be happy? For a short while, yes, but for
all the time after that, you would spend it reminiscing about the past and
recalling your memories. You would experience the most extreme joy but also
the most extreme pain, and you would be stuck forever with the
recollections of both. Literally, you would carry the weight of the world
on your shoulders, and in time, that becomes enough to crush anyone.
Another thing; if you were to gain immortality, you would lose an
appreciation for many, many things. Most importantly of all, you would lose
an appreciation for life and all its beauty. Why would you care to savour
each moment, when you had an eternity of moments to savour? That one second
in time would mean nothing to you, nothing at all, because it would be just
the same as all the other ones. We, as mortals, appreciate life because it
is precious; because it is the only one we have, and we do not want to
watch it past us by. Every moment of it must be cherished, loved,
remembered, because it is a moment we will never get back. Live for the
moment. You must learn to love everything. Do not hate. Hate gets you
nowhere, because everything comes to an end eventually. Nothing lasts
forever, nothing. Not the cliffs that tower over the sea, not the grudge
you've held against your worst enemy since kindergarten, not your amazing
circle of friends. Nothing but love in its purest form is forever.

I have four very amazing friends who live far, far away from me. We still
talk every day, and they give me very valuable advice that I try to listen
to all the time. Each are enormously wise. My friend Bastien told me in a
tragic moment, "Best friends can never really be apart." He was dying when
he told me this, but yet he wasn't sad or remorseful. I didn't get it at
first, but once I did, I about cried my eyes out. Another friend of mine,
Derrik, has said, "The winds of change wait for no one." How true. When we
came to a cross-roads, a place where we all had to part and go our separate
ways, we could have cried and worried about how we would get on without
each other. But my friend Tip told us all, "Think what lies before you-
dreams, perils, adventures. You cannot be certain what is on the road ahead
unless you decide to journey down it." No one knows everything that is
going to happen, so why spend your life being anxious about it? Love what
you have now. And just before she was about to leave, my closest friend of
the four, Neve, looked at us, smiled, and said, "May your life always be an
Amen to that.