Sami’s 2 a.m. Thoughts


Sami Haddad

What was Sami thinking about at 2 a.m. on a Wednesday night or Thursday morning? Well, here it is. For best viewing experience I suggest you read this at a similar hour but this is your decision to make.

“The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation. What is called resignation is confirmed desperation.” These are the words of Henry David Thoreau, often misquoted as, “Most men lead lives of quiet desperation and die with their song still inside them.” The meaning in both of these quotes is up for the individual to determine. No matter what Thoreau meant by these, the true importance of the words lies in how the individual interprets them, but I did want to share the viewpoint of a high school senior in regards to this quote. 

Recently, these words have struck home with me. As a senior, I am in the process of making THE DECISION. Since we entered school it seems like everything has been building up to this. Over the past 18 years, the “importance” of where we go to school and what we study has been imprinted in our minds. Thus, it is only reasonable that a lot of thought goes into this decision, and anyone that knows me knows that I tend to overthink situations. So, I have spent a lot of time reflecting on my past 14 years of school, and I have come to realize the obvious. We often take hard classes, join certain clubs, and read specific books because these things “look good on a resume.” Sometimes we admit to this and other times we do not. And of course, we can lie to others, but can we lie to ourselves? I think the sad answer to this question is yes. Many of us, including myself, have more than likely convinced ourselves that we have a passion for something when subconsciously we are doing these things for other reasons than providing our lives with meaning. 

My fear is that eventually the lie will wear off and the realization will come that our lives are devoid of meaning. All of this monetary motivation and the idea that we have to fulfill a certain image is detrimental to the lives of students, and it drives kids away from their true passions. I do not have an answer for how to fix the system, but I would like anyone reading this to reflect on the words of Henry David Thoreau and see what they mean to you. For me, they have shown me to not convince myself to dedicate my life to something that may not bring me meaning. They have shown me to have patience with this “important” decision and to explore all options instead of choosing the path prescribed to me at birth. But they may strike a different chord inside of you and I do not want you to take the words of an 18-year-old kid who has not lived as some sort of truth. All I ask is that all of us reflect on the paths we have chosen because I personally do not want to look back one day and suddenly realize how far I have strayed from living a meaningful life.