“It’s like a cow’s opinion. It just doesn’t matter. It’s moo.” – Friends (TV Series 1994-2004)
It’s obscure, isn’t it? But for me, this sentence carries more meaning than how much you could imagine. Let me tell you about the greatest epidemic in the world at the moment. If you think it is ebola, food crisis, or HIV, you might be slightly right. But the greatest epidemic I would like to talk about, which I have witnessed to occur everyday, is “body image”. Models define you. Not only for woman, nowadays men are also victimized by some abs surfacing on televisions and newspaper’s ads.
Years ago, teenagers still hit on video games and played around soccer fields. Today, more and more teens are obsessed to work out in gym. In some ways, it is good to get fit and be healthy. But the bad thing is that for some, if not most, people, working out means to reach the perfect body they desire based on what the ads keep telling on them. A crunch means muscle gained, not health leveled up. Cardio means toning and leaning, not to keep the heart in right pace. This does not end in the gym and fitness centre; the “perfect body” idea maintains to mess up with people’s daily lives in their kitchens. People began having bad relationships with food. Calories are stressed down into the lowest possible level. Carbs are hated and fats, saturated and unsaturated, are thrown into the waste baskets. Proteins are hunted, vegetables are good for you. While milk is bad. It is good that people are shifting away from junk food; but it is not good if this supposedly-good shift turns into a catastrophic state of arnorexia. This is epidemic.
We are not able to go back to 1990s when Calvin Klein first introduced this idea of perfect fit body for men, but we are able to change the idea to our own selves. We are able to keep the ads’ words as merely “moo”, without having too much concern on those sidetalks. We should be able to maintain our health, to take care our bodies, but not to starve ourselves, and not to work out excessively until getting the right tones. We are only humans. Physical appearance is a basic thing that may preserve our lives today, but without all the mental and spiritual beings balanced in our systems, we humans are only built bricks with an empty cage inside. Get rid off the moo.
“Carpe diem. Seize the day, boys. Make your lives extraordinary.” – Dead Poets Society (1989)
Robin Williams, a legend of actor and comedian, might have been gone, but today we still live our lives celebrating this quote of one of my favorite movies. This quote has its own place for me. Before watching the boys living in a boarding school rebelling the ordinary with their loved teacher, John Keating, I was living my life like how “it was supposed to be”. I attended classes to obtain grades, I walked to student council conference in order to be shining in college application, and I scratched words on school’s publication to show off my goodness to thrive for teachers’ attentions. I succeeded. But they meant absolutely nothing. The absence in my life was way bigger than what the success could have filled. It was like a small island inside a lake… I only hoped the tides did not wash away my pride.
By watching Dead Poets Society, I glimpsed what was missing. Glancing off the routines, I started to plan my own rebel. I stopped studying in classes for grades, yet I tried to dive in my courses. I lurched away from the boring textbooks which conducted my good grades, then I hit play on youtube’s videos. I changed my habitual study groups into a more engaging discussions on the rooftops. I skimmed passages, then read good books, like David Eagleman’s series which helped me through Introduction to Brains and Neuron , instead of the book my teaches insisted to use. I then rebelled not to attend college. I rebelled to take a year off, for which I still have no regret until this half-way passed. I rebelled to be out of ordinary: the norm which ate the whole of me after being cracked—like how you willingly ate the peanuts. And I am happier. Could not be happier.
It was about to seize the day. To enjoy every step I took on traveling around the exquisite islands of my country. To write for pleasure, to work—teaching—for life and leisure. To enjoy MOOCs like pancakes: to understand why Saturn had that wonderful ring, and to understand the theory of knowledge, consciousness, or God’s existence. To hike and run five miles. And meet new people—those who cured my boredom and invited me into a brave new world. Now, if you are in a position of how I used to be, I suggested you to find a way to watch this grand motion picture. Even if you cannot do that, please just remember: seize the day.