Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Appreciate

In the past few chapters of The Chosen, we have seen Reuven come to the conclusion that he appreciates things in his life more now than he once has. Once he almost lost his sight, he re-examined many areas of his life. Can you identify and relate to Reuven? Have there been times in your life where you have almost lost something and regained it not realizing how precious it was until you almost did not have it back? Make sure to respond to each others' comments.

57 Comments:

Blogger connord said...

Many times i have almost lost something that I thought wasn't important to me and then once I didnt have it I missed it a lot. Last year I had a broken foot and I couldnt play any sports. I didn't know playing sports was integral to my life, but once I lost the ability to play sorts I felt very lucky to be able to play them in the first place. I wanted sports and missed them a lot when i couldnt play them. Before, when I could be active every day, I didnt really value it.

Wed Nov 29, 08:37:00 AM  
Blogger jess b said...

I think that the common way of people is to take things for granted. Everyone seems to forget to be thankful for what they have and don't realize that their lives could be much worse. Some people only concentrate on the negative and never think about all the positive aspects they have in their world.

I had a very tramatizing experience a while ago. I had lost my cell phone. Wow... I know that it doesn't seem like that big of a deal... but I was without my phone for almost a week! It was so difficult; I couldn't talk to my friends at all and I felt totally out of the loop.

Its pathetic how unappreciative we all grow to be. It's "life-threatening" when we loose somehting like our cell phone, or our i-pod. People years ago wouldn't even have this technology and we learn to take it for granted.

When I finally got my phone back I was so happy. I didn't realize how much I depended on it and how much I do take it for granted.

Wed Nov 29, 08:40:00 AM  
Blogger paigen said...

I have not had the experience of appreciating things more because I almost lost my sight, but many times I have appreciated things more once I lost them. For instance, when I was a little girl, I lost this one teddy bear that I really didn't pay much attention to, but once I lost it, I spent days trying to find it.

In another instance like the previous one (I know they are really corny but this is the best I can do)I always used to take my mom making my lunch for me for grant it. But when she stopped and I had to start making my own, I finally starting appreciating the little things she would do for it.

I guess what I am trying to say is that you never really appreciate things until they are gone.

Wed Nov 29, 08:40:00 AM  
Blogger _annaw_ said...

Reuven, when he has eye surgery, rediscovers his life, or,"sees things in a new light." In my This, I Believe essay, I mentioned moving. When I moved here, I realized what true friends I had in California. It makes me miss them even more because I wish I had appreciated them while they were still a big part of my life. Since I learned that lesson, every time I meet someone, I try my hardest to spend time with them and to understand who they are to me.
This question relates to Mr. Malter when he mentions the fact that you never know how lucky you are until you become unlucky. It's the same as learning from your mistakes.
Sometimes it takes something like injuring your eye or moving just to get a clear idea in your head, just loke Paige, Connor, and Jess said.

Wed Nov 29, 08:41:00 AM  
Blogger jess b said...

I have been through the same thing as connor & i know exactly what you feel like. When I got my doctor problems it was so hard for me to do things and they told me that I probably wouldn't be able to do any sports. I'm not like a sports-fanatic; but I am so thankful everytime I can do a sport because I almost had to give them up all together.

Wed Nov 29, 08:42:00 AM  
Blogger kimmy c said...

I can relate to Reuven in that I have almost lost that I was able to somehow regain. my experience was a little less scary however. I lost my binder in the sixth grade... or so I thought, I went through a whole day without it, and i was having tourble with all of my organizing, I didn't have any paper, and I couldn't wrte down homework till someone gave me a piece of their paper. I found that I had left it at home, bt that day that I lost it I realized how reliant I was on my school binder. Without it, I was losing track of my homework assignments, I couldn't file my returned work, and I didn't have the appropiate resources that I needed to do my schoolwork. I had never before that day thought of how hard it would be for me if I didn't have an organizer for school.

Wed Nov 29, 08:42:00 AM  
Blogger endsleye said...

I can realte to Reuven after he sees the world in a different way. After my cheerleading accident where i got a concussion and fractured my neck, I see everything in a different way. The doctors told me that if i had hit my head about a milimeter over from where I did then I would be either dead or paralized. Every since then I've been happy that I can walk, do things on my own, and now dance and cheerlead again. I didn't know how much I took for granted until then. Now I'm just content to be alive and able to walk!

Wed Nov 29, 08:43:00 AM  
Blogger connord said...

As David Malter says, "You Don't Miss something unless you dont have it."

Wed Nov 29, 08:43:00 AM  
Blogger christa s said...

I can definitely relate to Reuven's feelings. My best friend, whom I had known since I was two and had gone to school with since kindergarten, left my school in sixth grade. The next year, in seventh grade, I really missed seeing her every day and laughing and talking with her. I realized that I had taken our frienship for granted, and I was really sad that we couldn't have the same close friendship as before. Since then we have regained our friendship because we see each other at church almost every week and we both now go to Arapahoe. Now I am so thankful that we can talk and laugh more often, even if our friendship is not quite the same as it was in sixth grade.

Wed Nov 29, 08:44:00 AM  
Blogger briang said...

I can relate to Reuven, however, not to the extent of losing my own eyesight. When I was younger, my grandma on my father’s side of the family had a severe heart attack. She appeared to be lost, when suddenly she came back. Granted I don't remember exactly what happened because I was younger, but I do remember looking at things differently and appreciating what I had more. I didn't have as strong a relationship with my grandma as I did with my other grandparents, so I never truly realized how important she was to me. It changed my entire outlook on things.
Nothing that severe has ever happened to me personally though. But this experience gave me the same feeling Reuven must have. Sometimes it takes something disastrous to make us realize what’s important in our lives and what isn’t.

Wed Nov 29, 08:44:00 AM  
Blogger alexm said...

back in 8th grade, I had two C grades in the first semester (not ususual). My Mom decided that she had had enough and decided to ground me from skateboarding, one month for each C. Thats 2 months for the slow people. I was pretty much devastated, as stupid as that seems. Skating was pretty much the only thing that occupied my time, so maybe thats why. I had never been seriously grounded from anything before, so this was a kick in the teeth for me. I thought about it, and I realised that skating was a privledge, not a given. When I got it back, I had sort of lost my touch,but it felt good to be able to tdo it again. So therefore, I can realate I a weird and juvinile way to Reuven's loss of sight.

Wed Nov 29, 08:45:00 AM  
Blogger Sarah C said...

I know that when you lose someone or something you really feel like you wish you had had more time. When I lost my pet guinea pig Herman, I was very sad. He had been with me for almost seven years, and then one day I had to put him to sleep. After that day, I started to think about the time I had spent with him, and realized that there could have been so much more I could have done. I wished I could have taken him out of his cage and played with him more, I wish I could have taken better care of him, and so much more. The thing is, people don't realize how lucky they are until something is lost, and even then, most only remeber for a little while (unless something major was taken away). If people remember what happened and really remember the lesson they learned, then maybe the world would be a better place because people would care for each other.

Wed Nov 29, 08:46:00 AM  
Blogger EmilyH said...

There is a time in everyones life where they lose something important to them. I have had many of those times but one that sticks out vividly is the time when i lost something very dear to my heart. I lost my raquetball socks.

These were no ordiinary, run of the mill white socks. oh no, they were knee-high, with horizontal white and black stripes and pig faces on the tops. When combined with my lights blue boys basketball shorts it was the perfect outfit to embarass anyone with whom i was playing. At the rec-center where we played my socks were a legend. ok, maybe they were just something that the desk people commented on occasionaly, but they were close enough. And then, on fateful day I played raquetball with two of my best friends, Layne and Emily. It was a great game and when nwe were finished we went swimming. Several weeks later, when i went to play raquetball with some other friends of mine I discovered that my Raquetball socks were gone! I was horrified, but i had to make do with mismatched ankle socks. needless to say the desk people were very disappointed.
Then, some weeks later (about 4 weeks from that fateful game..) I get a call from Layne saying he has a bag of mine containing socks. At first I did not realize that those socks were anthing but the ordinary mis-matched ankle socks, but upon opening the bag I found to my surprise my knee high black and white striped raquetball socks!

I realize that this story might seem a little insignificant but i loved those socks. anyway, I know that me losing my socks is not nearly as frightening as Reuven nearly loosing his sight, but i have gained a new appreaciation for those knee high, black and white striped raquetball socks.

Wed Nov 29, 08:46:00 AM  
Blogger tanal said...

I can relate to Reuven from the Chosen and how he has come to appreciate whats around him because one time i had a really bad infection in my hand and in my fingers and the doctors said that if it does show any signs of improvement in the next few days that i might have to have my fingers or even my hand amputated. i never realized before that moment how much i used my hand for and everything that i can do with it and i was just thinking how that all might be gone in just a little bit. I always took it and used it for granted not thinking that i might lose it one day just like Reuven and his eye. Obviously it started getting better because i still have my hand but ever since then i have beeen greatful and everytime i use my hands i think of how if i got my hand amputated how i wouldn't be able to do this. I know now not to take things for granted and to appreciate everything and everyone around you. I never realized how precious my hand was to me untill i almost lost it.

Wed Nov 29, 08:47:00 AM  
Blogger chelseah said...

While reading, I have noticed that Reuven has been taking life for granted, and then the eye incident made him realize that life is much more precious than one realizes.

I have had a few times in my life that I didn't realize how much I needed, or appreciated something, until it was almost gone. For example I take friendship for granted. Over the summer, one of my best friends and I got in a big fight (over something really stupid, I might add) that almost ended or friendship. I decided to not make a point to talk to her, which worked since we were on summer break, in hopes that it might blow over. About a week and a half after we got in the fight, she called me and talked to me like nothing had happened. I was a little surprised at first, but I figured that if we would have brought up the fight, we would have argued and gotten in a whole new one. So we just talked... and pretended like nothing ever happened.

During that week that we were in the fight, I realized how glad I was to have a friend like her, and how upset I would be if we were no longer friends. That is why I now appreciate my friendships more.

Wed Nov 29, 08:48:00 AM  
Blogger HannahJ said...

There have probably been many times where I have almost lost something and appriciated it once I finally got it back. Though one specific instance comes to mind:

When I was about 4 my mom enrolled me in a learn-to-skate class at the ice rink. At first, I didn't wnat to do it because it was so hard and I kept falling. But eventually, I got the hang of it and going to skating sessions became regular. After 7 years of getting up at 5:00 in the morning and skating for two hours, my mom decided one day that I didn't seem dedicated enough to do it anymore, so she made me quit. For awhile I was actually kind of relieved but then I realized how much I missed everything about it. My mom was very understanding about the whole thing and so after a few weeks I started getting used to the old routine. This made me a better skater and made me realize that I wanted to be committed to something like this.

Wed Nov 29, 08:49:00 AM  
Blogger elyse h said...

I can relate to Reuven, but not exactly with losing sight even though i do wear contacts i take them for granted.

I agree with Jessica, that we all learn to take things for granted. Sometimes we don't even realize that all we need is right in front of our faces until it's gone.

Every year i go on river rafting trips in the middle of the dessert, the longest one was a week and a half. I never realized how much i take for granted until I'm out in the middle of nowhere without my phone, without my computer, even without my bed. Whenever I get home from these trips I'm really glad to have everything back especially a shower.

The other time i really realize when I'm taking things for granted is when my power goes out. I walk into a room and try to turn on a light but i forget it doesn't work, then the tv, and the computer, and so much more. When the light comes back on for a day or two I'm nervous it will go back out again, but everytime that happens i learn to appreciate the fact that we even have electricity.

Wed Nov 29, 08:49:00 AM  
Blogger joshb said...

When I was 5 my grandfather died of lung cancer. Nobody knew exactly why he had been diagnosed with it seeing that he had never smoked a cigarette in his life, but it didn't really have a profound effect on me. However, I noticed that at any given time, we might have to leave this world and go on to the next. I began to appreciate that I had other grandparents and parents that cared about me. I was appreciative of all of the things that I had and that I was privelidged to have. This is kind of like Rueven when he almost loses his sight because he realizes that he has much more to live for than he thinks.

Wed Nov 29, 08:51:00 AM  
Blogger shaunam said...

I personally have never had an experience where I lost something, realized how much it meant, and then regained it.

But like Paigen said, when you take things for granted, like the lunches, and then they stop coming, you realize how much you depended on them.

I guess my "story" could be like my "This I Believe" essay. When I travel, I get to see different cultures and how families live. I take for granted the house I live in, the school I go to, and the everyday objects that make my life what it is.

Other than that, I have yet to have an expericence like Reuven. But, you never know.

Wed Nov 29, 08:52:00 AM  
Blogger KathrynT said...

Although many times I have had things taken away from me, I cannot think of any tangeable thing that I have lost and gained more appreciation for. A similar thing, however, is that before I moved back to Colorado from New Jersey, my gradparents often sent cards and presents. The cards were always filled with confetti and we loved to get them, but never truely appreciated our grandparents and the cards that they sent. That is, until they stopped coming. We haven't seen our grandparents in a long time, and only just recently have we recieved cards or phone calls from them. In this sense, I can somewhat relate to Reuven in how he appreciates more in life, but not to a huge extent. I understand how he feels about it, but it is not a very deep understanding because, unlike him, I have not re-examined many areas of my life because of my experiences.
I agree with Elyse and Jesica that we all do learn to take things for granted, but I wonder if our parents grew up not havng a lot and if they could pass on thier apreciation for things to us.

Wed Nov 29, 08:52:00 AM  
Blogger AleeA said...

I definitely can relate to Reuven, because there have been times when I was lucky enough to regain things that I nearly lost. For example, my grandfather had a heart attack before I was born, and as time progressed, his heart weakened more and more. Then, two or three years ago, he clapsed from another one. He had to undergo all these treatments, take all this medicine, and really pause his life. I always loved him, but when this happened I realized what an important role he plays in my life, and I cherish my time with him now. In another instance, I flipped a shopping cart on my head when I was about two years old. It landed on my eye, but cut through the skin about a centimeter from the actual eye. The cut was really deep, and I had to get stitches. I didn't realize it then, but I could have really hurt my eyesight, and I'm thankful for having it now.
On a lower note, I also really appreciate my friends. I went to Europe this past summer to sing with this choir, and the friendships I made while on the trip are priceless to me. All of my friends that were on that trip live all over Colorado, so it is difficult for us to see each other that often. This strengthens our relationships though, and I am so glad that I know them.

Wed Nov 29, 08:53:00 AM  
Blogger connord said...

Also, 4 of my parents friends have died recently at a young age. My parents went to a funeral yesterday for a 45 year old man who died of cancer. He has two kids and i know them both. I sometimes take my parents for granted and diss them once in a while. I'm going to try and stop disrespecting them becasue I know that they can die just like all their young friends today, tomorow, or a week from now.

Wed Nov 29, 08:53:00 AM  
Blogger adamb said...

Nothing has ever really happened to me before that has changed my perspective on things. But recently my great grandfather died after I travelled to Germany and seeing all the work he did and what my relatives in Germany had to do on a daily basis made me releaize I should work harder and put a lot of effort into things I do. Now I have been working harder and it has felt good. So, I think that you reevaluate yourself and beliefs when you have time to think, time off. Malcolm X turned into a religous man and a kind one while spending time in prison and Reuven forgave who he thought to be his worst enemy. Given time to think and slow down, anyone can change.

Wed Nov 29, 08:56:00 AM  
Blogger ADRIANA G said...

I haven't ever been in danger of losing something like a hand or and eye, but like emily, I have lost many things. Most of them are small things that I appreciate but do not think about much. I sometimes lose things like headphones that i don't often fully appreciate. When I can't find these things, I get really worried. Sure, headphones aren't much, but it's pretty hard to listen to music without them. When I find something like this I always feel really relieved after the temporary panic of losing something. Getting really worried about something makes you appreciate things even more when the problem gets better. I usually appreciate the item I found and how lucky I am to have recovered it.

Wed Nov 29, 08:59:00 AM  
Blogger AleeA said...

I completely agree with shaunam when she talks about traveling around the world and seeing how good you have it compared to others. I have lived with different host families in my travels, and sometimes they have a bigger house than me while other times, they live in a tiny little two bedroomed apartment. When you see what others have compared to you, especially if you are better off than them, it really makes you appreciate things! There is always someone who will be better off than you are, but on the other hand, you are always better off than somebody else.

Wed Nov 29, 08:59:00 AM  
Blogger kimmy c said...

Looking at everyones comments,it seems that most(not all of us)have not gone through something very traumatic. I can't say that i have have either, but I know that we can all relate to Reuven and how we don't understand, and aren't as aware of how much things mean to us, or how much we rely on things till they are gone. It could be as simple as a toy, or a pair of socks, but in the end our nature of dependence, and wants lead us down to believe that we have to have these items, like we can't live without them.

Wed Nov 29, 09:00:00 AM  
Blogger christa s said...

This is similar to Connor's experiences, but another thing that I do not really value is my health. I rarely ever get sick, have never had the flu, and have never been seriously ill. My perspective has changed somewhat because of my brother's friend, who has bone cancer. The cancer is in his arm and he can hardly move it and has had a segment of the bone removed, so he can never play the violin again, as he used to. He has had many complications and close calls, and has almost died. After hearing the stories of all that this twelve-year-old boy has suffered with chemo and numerous surgeries, I realize how blessed I am that I hardly ever even get a cold.

Wed Nov 29, 09:02:00 AM  
Blogger declanh said...

I can relate to Reuven in the sense that I almost lost something I had taken for granted. A couple summers ago,I was with my cousin by Shadow Mountain Lake. My cousin and i were messing around and he pushed me in. Since I was caught of guard, I didn't really have time to take a breath and I went in already almost out of breath. This wouldn't have been a problem normally, except I somehow got my foot wedged under a rock.

I don't know if anyone has been to Shadow Mountain Lake, but it is pretty murky and hard to see, especially when you are underwater. I fumbled and felt around to try to get the rock off my foot, but it was a while before I found it. Once I found the rock and got it off my leg, I came to the surface to find my cousin panicking halfway to the house to get someone to help. I talked to him later about it and he said I was underwater for a long time, definately over a minute. When I was under water it felt like a long time but I figured it was just one of those things.

Since then, I have decided to live my life to the fullest. You should live every day like its your last because you never know what you've got until it is gone and some day just might be your last.

Wed Nov 29, 09:12:00 AM  
Blogger saram said...

Like Paige, I can't directly relate to Reuven, because I mean how many people almost lose their eyesight from being hit with a baseball? Not many. But, I have had a time in my life when I lost something. My grandfather always seemed healthy and capable of many things that other gradfathers couldn't do. He was always very active, but he was also very wise. Being a surviver of the Holocaust, he had many stories to tell. Everytime I saw he he told me more and more about when he was young. I always expected it when I saw him, but I never took the time to really appreciate what he was doing. He was trying to pass his stories and tales on to me. One day, while he was playing tennis, he calapsed and he had to go to the hospital. He went up and down, but we all knew that he would never be better. He died a couple of months later. Not until then did I truly appreciate all that he did.

Some people say that they have always appreciated everything in life, but is that really possible? How can you appreciate something without having to suffering the lose of knowing that you didn't. So basically, 'you don't appreciate something until it's gone.'

Wed Nov 29, 09:12:00 AM  
Blogger chelseah said...

I also agree with Paige and Sara, by saying that I cant directly relate to Reuven, but I think that we have all lost, or almost lost sometihng that we would have never thought. I think that we just all need to not take as many things for granted, and appreciate the small pleasures... like a baseball game.

Wed Nov 29, 09:23:00 AM  
Blogger endsleye said...

Like Paige, Sara, and Chelsea said, I can't directly connect to being hit in the eye with a baseball. But I do have reference to know what its like to be gratful for simple things!

Wed Nov 29, 09:23:00 AM  
Blogger erinl said...

Like Paige, Sara, Chelsea and Endsley have stated, I also cannot relate to losing something that drastic. The only event that could come close is when my sister has heart surgery, I always wonder what would happen if she didn't make it through it. If something were to happen to her I would look at the world with a different attitude. I hope that nothing ever happens to my sister or myself because I don't know what I would do with myself after a tragity like that.

Wed Nov 29, 12:26:00 PM  
Blogger sarahc said...

Everyone has friends, but we never really think about what life is like without them. I used to be like that, taking my friends for granted, but since I moved I have come to see how much my friends were part of my life. My days are empty without them and I feel lonely a lot more often. I really miss my friends, and know I see that I took my friends for granted. I also took their friendship for granted. I was lucky with my friends in Ohio. Moving here and having to make new friends has shown me that friendships are really hard to make. In Ohio, I never thought about how long and how powerful my friendships were until I moved here and tried to make new ones. I now appreciate those friends that I do make here more.

Wed Nov 29, 12:27:00 PM  
Blogger Lane C. said...

I actually can sort of relate to this situation but in a smaller way. Anytime that I have to take time off gymnastics I realize when I go back to the gym how much I love it and how horrible it would be if I couldn't do it. I' have never been in the situation where I almost was unable to go back to the gym but I think that based of these small experiences I kind of know what it would be like to have to quit gymnastics.

Wed Nov 29, 12:27:00 PM  
Blogger Madisonm said...

As many people have stated, I ,too, cannot directly relate to Reuevens near blindess experience. However, there have been numerous instances where I have essentially "lost" something and then realized that I really needed it, and missed it.

One main example was when my parents divorced. I never really valued how much having both parents around all of the time was. And even thought I really had nothing to do with the fact that my dad doesnt live with us anymore, it still really affects me today. Sometimes, sadly, I am envious of my friends that have two happy parents in their home. In this circumstance, I can realize the frightening feeling must have felt when he realize that he might be losing something that was very important to him. And in reality, I believe that everyone has endured a sittuation where they have eiter lost something and wished to have it back, or have come extremely close to losing something, and then appreciating it more.

Wed Nov 29, 12:29:00 PM  
Blogger Zachf said...

I can relate to Reuven on some level wit the fact that both of us got sports injuries. I had a head injury that did not allow me to play a game this football season. I used to hate running gassers, but I would run gassers all practice if I could play even one down. I went from a starter to a scratch on the roster. I missed playing, this renewed my appreciation for every sport and I know now to take things for granted. I know now that I can't take every opportunity I get lightly.

Wed Nov 29, 12:29:00 PM  
Blogger Aylar said...

I have had many scary experiences where I appreciate things that I normaly have taken for granted. The most extreme was when I had to get surgery on my leg because I had a congenital short femur (this is when one leg isn't growing as fast as the other one) During the surgery I had an adverse reaction to the type of gas that I was put to sleep with. Once I woke up I couldn't talk, and it was almost as if my brain hadn't woken up but my body had. I hadn't relized how hard it would be if I couldn't talk EVER again. Those of you that know me know that I'm always talking so that would have been terrible. When I was able to talk again I was so greatful. This is just like when Reuven almost loses his sight. He appreciates being able to see just like I appreciated to be able to talk.

Wed Nov 29, 12:31:00 PM  
Blogger Rileys said...

Of course I have been hampered physically many times in my life and therefore when I had recovered I loved my capabilities that much more. For example, when I tore both of my hamstrings I was unable to even walk into the kitchen and fix a sandwitch. Also, at the same time i caught mono (mononucleosis) and I was hungry all of the time for I couldn't fix food for myself because of the hamstring yet, i was exausted all of the time. All i did was sleep except i couldn't sleep because i was hungry. Six months later when i recovered life was so much better and i enjoyed the feeling of movemet so much better i started to think of my other gifts and therefore treasured everyone of my capabilities.

Wed Nov 29, 12:31:00 PM  
Blogger TyC said...

I cannot directly relate to Reuven or some of the other people in our classes, but I know that I have many great opportunities and a way better life than some other people, and it is not to be taken for granted. I think that it is important for those who are more fortunate to help those who are less fortunate. One example is Hurricane Katrina victoms. It is very cool to see famous people and just all people in general taking these people taking the victoms in and helping rebuild New Orleans. You should be thankful for what you have, so you you don't figure out how to appriciate what you have the hard way.

Wed Nov 29, 12:34:00 PM  
Blogger AnnaD said...

Though I have been most fortunate in my life to not have had to live through these types of hard times, there was one time that I remember feeling this sense of loss. About a year ago, a few things happened between my family and my cousin's family. My cousin and I are extremely close, and this falling out threatened to totally end our friendship. Consequently, I was obviously devastated. I couldn't imagine family get-togethers without my cousin there. With time, luckily, things were settled, and everything went back to normal. Though I really appreciated having my cousin there beforehand, this incident opened my eyes to the fact that the friendship could not be there; it could end. I then was able to more fully appreciate every minute I am able to spend with my cousin. I can definitely relate to Reuven, if in a roundabout way.

Wed Nov 29, 12:35:00 PM  
Blogger Lane C. said...

I just remembered something else too. I never realized until monday of this week how much I valued talking with a certain person. On monday he left for Iraq and I realized how much I enjoyed and relied on his conversation to keep me going through the week. It's a little sad but we can still email so I'm happy and he's happy to be in Iraq doing his job and that's a good thing. Wow that sounded so sappy but I guess it goes along with the subject of the blog.

Wed Nov 29, 12:36:00 PM  
Blogger JoanneH said...

The closest I've ever come to losing something is when I broke my right arm two years ago. We weren't sure if it was broken, so we waited a night before we went to the hospital. I had a hard time sleeping because I always lay my head on my right arm, and the next morning it really hurt still, to the point where I couldn't distract myself with anything. It kept getting bumped, too. I couldn't write anything, which didn't affect my too much because it was July, but I also couldn't do things like tie my shoes with both hands or put my seat belt on in the car. I got really good at doing things one-handed with my other arm (I'm right-handed). I was lucky Mom got me a water-proof cast, or else I wouldn't have been able to swim, either. I also couldn't bend that wrist for 6 weeks. I never realized how much I depend on that hand and wrist until I couldn't use them.

Wed Nov 29, 12:40:00 PM  
Blogger lindseyc said...

I can definitely relate to Reuven. Not the being hit in the eye by a baseball, but the realizing how precious some things can be and not to take them for granted. When my mom first got sick, I figured sure shed lose her hair and sure shed be 'sick'. But after her first couple of treatments, it was nothing like what I thought. She wasn't my mom most of the time, at least right after her treatments. It was then I realized that when she was herself, I had to spend all the time I could with her. I had always taken for granted my mom just being my mom. I never thought I would lose her as much as I did. We couldn’t talk, couldn’t go for a run, we could barely even watch a movie together anything that we normally did, we now all of a sudden couldn’t. Things that I had never really wanted to do when we could, but longed to when we couldn’t. I just had to get used to her as a person, not as my mom, but simply a person. She became a person who was nothing like I knew, not in appearance or in personality. This is how I can really relate to Reuven. He had taken for granted his eyesight, while me my mother. It wasn’t until there was the threat of losing these attributes that we realize what is most important to us.

Wed Nov 29, 12:40:00 PM  
Blogger EmilyA said...

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Wed Nov 29, 12:43:00 PM  
Blogger Mphair said...

Yes, I too have lost something, and only then realized how important that thing was to me.

Friends are my main focus, but in two different ways. For one thing, when I moved (the first time) I realized that basically my social life was gone. It evaporated. Disappeared. Vanished. It was then that I found out the true meaning of friends and what the do for you.

I also found out in 7th/8th grade that one of my friends had attempted to commit suicide many times and another of them was on the verge of trying. With that discovery I found out HOW MUCH they meant to me, and HOW MUCH it would hurt if they did die. Now however they have moved on and are no longer like that. But it was still amazing how much it would have affected me.

Wed Nov 29, 12:44:00 PM  
Blogger EmilyA said...

There have been many things that I have taken for granted and have almost been taken away from me, but the one that sticks out the most is not about me but my uncle. My family and I go to visit my aunt and uncle every summer and going there makes me realize how much I take for granted. My uncle is blind and has been blind for half of his life. I try to imagine what it would be like to not have sight... to never to the ocean, to never see the mountains, to not be able to see the person I am talking to. But the thing is, I can't even imagine that. I take my eyesight for granted so much. Its not until I see my uncle that I am reminded how lucky I am to be able to see things. I would be devastated if my eyesight was taken away from me, so now I try to never take that for granted.

Wed Nov 29, 12:45:00 PM  
Blogger EmilyL said...

I have two things.
This past summer I went to the town of Yampa with a population 430, 30 minutes south of Steamboat Springs, with my youth group. I was in charge of the first and second grade bible study class. I had a kid in my class who I was told was the problem child, the one who I would never be able to control. As I got to know him, I found out his father abuses him. He made me think about how lucky I am to have two parents that treat me with respect.

This goes back to this I believe essay. As I said in my essay, this year I was diagnosed with a chronic illness. For a few weeks I wasn’t sure if I would be able to live like a normal kid. Everything turned out fine, but now I really appreciate the fact that I am alive and healthy.

Wed Nov 29, 12:45:00 PM  
Blogger Maddyg said...

I have never had an experience like Reuven, I have someone very close to me that has. In July of last summer, my sister's best friend, Lisa, went atv-ing with her family. Close to the end of the trail, the atv lost control and she and her sister flew off and down the 300 ft drop. Her sister hung onto Lisa and the last branch on the mountain side, where they waited for several hours. The extremely freak accident not only left her traumatized, but confound to a wheelchair. Now, she has to focus on whether she'll graduate with her friends because of her time spent in the hospital, and if she'll walk to recieve herv diploma. Her experience has helped me to appreciate my ability to walk and the assurance that that brings me.

Wed Nov 29, 12:47:00 PM  
Blogger lauraf said...

My brother and sister and I have always been really active, competitive, and involved with a ton of sports. I never really thought about the physical abilities we have been blessed with until I met Taylor Atkinson. I have known his family through our church, but didn't really spend time with him or others in the youth group until about a two years ago. He was affeicted with Fanconi Anemia and had physical handicaps. When I first met him, I felt so bad for him that he was different, however, I realized he was never negative about his situation and made the best out of everything!! Many people thought that he couldn't participate in as many activites because he wasn't the same as everyone else, but he proved their assumtions wrong numerous times. The time I remember the most was watching the video of one of our retreats, and seeing him all harnessed up in the trees with his best friends, doing the same thing as all of them. It showed me that although it was hard, Taylor could accomplish tasks set before him. It also opened my eyes to the challenges many people face, whereas they come easily to me and I just take it for granted. Taylor passed away earlier this year because of FA and everyone who knew him was devastated because of his determination and passion for life. Although he is not with us anymore, I will always remember his optomism and remember not to take anything for granted.

Wed Nov 29, 12:48:00 PM  
Blogger Laurab said...

Like the old saying goes, you only know what you have until it's gone.

In 7th grade, my grandpa passed away. While he was alive, I really didn't like spending time with him and I probably didn't love him as much as I could have. When he was alive, I would avoid him, thinking that he was annoying, how many children think of older people. I was frustrated with the fact that, being older, he didn't understand me and what I needed and wanted. I couldn't talk to him, I couldn't relate to him in my early childhood.

After he died, I realized how much I actually needed him. I was older by then and was interested more with history, and my grandpa was a endless wealth of knowledge in that area. Mainly I was focused on the Great Depression and WW2. My grandpa was around during those times and I could have had many a conversation with him on what it was like living in that time in history. If he was alive. I realized how lucky I could have been if I had sat down with him and talked about his life. I am sure I could have found lots of great stories and facts about what I wanted to know, that I could cherish forever. If he was alive.

I was shocked when I thought about those things. I cried and cried over the opportunities that I had wasted and the man I would never see again. I would not be able to talk to him or find out the amazing events that happened in his life.

Because of this, I now cherish the time I have to spend with my grandparents. I listen to my grandma when she tells stories, even if I've heard them thousands of times. I look forward to seeing my grandparents and make the most out of every minute I have with them. Because I never know how much time I have left to spend with them.

Wed Nov 29, 12:49:00 PM  
Blogger BenH said...

One thing that I once lost was Firefox. I am sure that sounds really lame and stupid, but it is true. I got a new thumb drive, and had not yet installed Firefox on it. Then I was using a computer in debate that only had IE. It was terrible. Using a sub-optimal browser with no tabs and security holes that was slow and ugly was really a serious bummer. But that is really the extent of it.

declanh: i think that your comment is very telling of human nature. When people are in danger and are struggling, they often times think about a lot of things they dont otherwise. danger is really something that brings out things in us we didn know we had.

connord: a lot of people have very mixed emotions on parents. A lot of times they are kids enemies, but just about everyone realizes that you couldnt live without them.

Wed Nov 29, 12:51:00 PM  
Blogger karib said...

I only have one close call that allows me to relate to relate to Reuven. On my birthday during sixth grade, I was playing tug-of-war with my dog while laying on the floor. She accidently steped on my face and her due-claw caught me right above the eye and ripped almost all to my ear. Thankfully, she didn't get my actual eye, but ever since I've been extremely aware of my eyes and I can't stand anything to do with eyes (like going to the eye doctor). It was a close call and it definetely shifted my view of the world.

Wed Nov 29, 12:52:00 PM  
Blogger Shelby B. said...

I think we all can relate to Rueven because we all have family members and even if your parents aren’t with you any more you have lost them, and you know how important they are to you. Even if you do have parents you have probably felt scared about them if they were gone longer than they said they were, or you couldn’t get a hold of them, we most likely have all felt a little scared. But I can personally relate to Rueven, not in the real essence of loosing sight, but I when my brother was really young he was diagnosed with a strange disease. This disease required him to have surgery on his heart and the possibility of loosing him at an earlier age, and would leave him with a small limp. The day of the surgery and the day after we weren’t allowed to see him, so we just hoped he’d be okay. He is okay, but it was a scary thought of loosing my brother, and there is still that possibility, but most likely he will be fine. Also, I moved once and lost all of my old friends, then we were going to move again a year later and I was afraid to loose all of my new best friends again; luckily I didn’t need to, but that possibility of loosing all of my friends again made me truly sorrowful. I feel that people, and the life we live in are our most important “property”. When we move or loose people that we were close to we have a deep feeling of sorrow.

Wed Nov 29, 12:53:00 PM  
Blogger danh said...

I never really appreciated my neighbors. There was a particularly nasty family called the Tuckers. I didn't like Ellen Tucker because she was always cranky. A cranky old woman. Her husband Leon's life, as well as hers, was dogs. A few days ago, Leon died of some kind of cancer, but I can't remember which. I neveer really appreciated Leon living near me, but now that he is dead, it feels like the neighborhood is empty. He used to always play with his dogs outside, but ever since he got sick, the neighborhood has been quiet. Even though losing a neighbor isn't like losing sight in one eye, it still brings about a feeling of emptyness the likes of which can tear a soul apart. In theory.

Wed Nov 29, 12:56:00 PM  
Blogger hannahs said...

I can relate to Reuven. I have a ring that my Grandparents gave to me, and it is very special. About a month ago, I almost lost my ring, and I was very upset, because I realized how special the ring was and that it was more than just a piece of jewelery.

Wed Nov 29, 01:11:00 PM  
Blogger kjerstinl said...

I'm not sure if I have a situation of losing something great, I've just been lucky. But I do have a story about someone else, my 6th grade teacher. A few weeks before school started in 6th grade, my teacher got into a motorcycle accident in the mountains with his friends. They were going down the hill and on a turn, he swerved and crasheds into a tree. He broke both of his legs, his back, and his arm. He was in the hospital for a while and needed to be in a wheel-chair for about 6 months. The worse thing for him was that he could not come to the first semester of the school year, the first one that he would ever teach. Through his recovery, he's had many surgeries and cannot bend one of his legs. He limps around most of the time, but he's gotten used to that. He learned that he's never going to fully recover from this accident and he's always going to have problems with one of his legs. I could tell that this was hard for him because he was such an athletic person before. Plus, my class missed a whole semester of his teaching which is really sad because he actually turned out to be a good teacher.

When I think about my teacher's situation, I have no idea how I could live with that kind of problem. For me, I love to play basketball. I would be devestated if I couldn't play. Not only that, but I hate just sitting around. I have to do something. Plus, I love to work out, I just enjoy it. After realizing how my life could change with just one moment, I appreciate how lucky I've been and my oppertunities that I have.

To relate back to other people's comments:
I agree with friends are something that are taken for granted. They are our support in times of need, and they keep our moods up.
I also agree with Connor and Paige that parents are taken for granted. My parents can definitely get on my nerves quite often, but most of the time they're just doing what they're doing because they love me.
Frankly, I don't think that losing electronics like a computer, cell phone, or iPod or something would be that bad. This summer I went to Montana for a mission trip, and we didn't have any electronics. There were only two places in the whole camp that had electricity, and they were the kitchen and the shower houses (we had port-a-potties though). I realized then that we really don't NEED electronics, we just want them which is a whole different story. It showed me that I can have a good time in a different way.

Wed Nov 29, 03:16:00 PM  
Blogger maria k said...

Like Mr. Malter said, "People who are fortunate don't realize it until they are unfortunate."

I think after reading "The Chosen," we have all thought about something we take for granted. Even if it's tiny, like Paige's teddy bear :), or a little bigger, like Ayla's lost voice, we don't realize how lucky we are. I think my big one was siblings. I grew up with my brother, and always thought he was terribly annoying. But one time he hurt his head and had to stay in the hospital for a little while and I was terribly bored. Even though I never showed it, I was so happy when he came back.

It's fun to read books like this that really make you think.

p.s. good one daniel...no seriously

Thu Nov 30, 07:28:00 PM  

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