Tuesday, March 27, 2012

EDITORIAL: Cornell West Says We Must Learn To Die To Truly Live

By Christina Fermin
Society & Politics

I recently went to a lecture given by Dr. Cornell West, a philosopher, author, critic and civil rights activist who teaches at Princeton University. His lecture was about empowering our youth. While I may have heard of who Dr. West was and had a general idea of what he was about, his lecture the other night was inspiring beyond anything you could ever read about him. One of the most captivating parts of his speech was his talk about how one must learn to die. Of course, he doesn’t mean literally, but metaphorically. There comes a moment in life where one must take a hard look at the beliefs, judgments, presuppositions or ideas about who we are and make adjustments.

We as humans go through various transformations in our lives and reevaluate who we are as people. Some may go through many and others will only do this a few times, but nevertheless, this is one of the most important components of being human. Learning to die is not an easy task, and it can be an emotional roller coaster, but doing so will save much heartache, pain and suffering in the long run. It is an essential process for growth in this existence, just as a crab sheds its shell to grow another one. We must learn to shed our outer shell so that we go deeper and more inward than we went before. Without these transformations we are just outer shells with no real meat or meaning inside.

Getting involved, volunteering, becoming part of a club or organization will assist in one’s personal development. The trick is to enter an environment where you are not entirely comfortable and you are forced to mingle and think outside of your comfort zone. Traveling outside of the United States will also do this and it will do this at an accelerated pace. There is no better way to learn about the world and who you are than to travel where you are constantly questioning everything. There is also no quicker way to gain confidence and find out what you’re made of than to spend some time away from home. Anytime that I have spent traveling has always taught me some valuable lessons in life and I learn so much about myself and what it means to be alive.

While it may be one of the most frightening things to do, it is necessary. If we are to fulfill our destiny and understand our journey here we have to go through a transformation. As a matter of fact we must go through several transformations. Essentially we must learn to die. In learning how to die, we face our worst fears, we re-prioritize our lives and we discover things about ourselves and life that we just did not understand before. Change is good, transformation is frightening. Learning to face your fear and moving onward is fantastic. If we are to evolve as humans and get to the next level, these things have to happen.

In my short life I have gone through some transformations already and each one scary and intimidating. Every time I have done it, I come out stronger, more prepared and with a deeper understanding of myself and the things that occur around me. As I gear up for the next one, I wonder how my future will be. When was the last time you took a hard look at yourself? When was the last time you went through a transformation? Are the walls crumbling around you? Have you lost your job? Are you getting married or going through a divorce? If you feel as though you have recently been struck with bad luck, it could be life just telling you it’s about that time. Take a good look at your life and reevaluate, re-prioritize and embrace the changes being made, how else are we to be a better people. In order for our lives to blossom we must go through the rabbit hole and out the other side.

About the Columnist

With a bachelors degree in political science from Florida Atlantic University, Christina Fermin has always cultivated her love for history, politics, sociology, ancient knowledge and teachings, the outdoors, the ocean and the environment. Christina strives to make our world better by helping us all create a new reality and understanding of all taking place here and now. You can reach her at Christina@MySavvySisters.Com.



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