Monday, January 26, 2009


I have a ton of fun things that I have wanted to blog about in the last few weeks, but with 17.0 credit hours in school, work, and a new internship, I just haven't been able to find the time lately. However, today at 5:30, I had a brief experience that helped put some perspective on all my daily tasks and I wanted to share it.

You know when you need to focus on a task but all your mind can think is "pizza would be great right now" or "a salad would be nice"? Well, I was writing away in a computer lab on BYU campus and pretty soon I was dreaming up all sorts of food combinations that would satisfy my distracting cravings. Regardless of my true desire to endure, it wasn't long before I found myself climbing the stairs to the main level of the building and heading across campus to get some food.

As soon as I opened the doors to the cold outside air, I regretted leaving my coat on the chair in the computer lab. When it comes to the cold, I am such a baby. (If you don't believe me, just ask Jon. My laundry piles up for weeks just because I don't want to carry it out in the cold to the laundry room for our apartment complex.) In a short-sleeved sweater, I knew I wouldn't last long so I decided to just bee-line it to the WILK as quickly as possible (aka as close as humanly possible to a sprint without getting too many weird looks.)

At five-thirty every evening, the ROTC guys retire the American flag on campus for the day. As they do this, the national anthem is played loudly so it can be heard across campus. Mid-sprint, I heard the anthem begin and a moral debate immediately started in my head. I was freezing, snow was attacking my bare arms, and the last thing I wanted to do was stop in my tracks long enough for the cold to start setting in under my skin.

Well, the respectable part of me won out and I stopped, turned toward the service, and put my hand on my heart. I wish I could effectively convey the spirit that quickly entered my heart as I paused to honor the vitality of America. As I looked around at the many busy students around me, pausing to give reverence to our nation, I noticed I had goosebumps. Granted, that may have had something to do with the cold, but I was truly touched by the essence of our national anthem. Surprisingly, when the anthem ended, I wasn't nearly as eager to immediately bolt to the student center. As I walked, I reflected on the many blessings that I constantly take for granted as an American.

As a political science student, I have had the opportunity to study many different types of government organizations. The more I study comparative politics and international relations, the more gratitude I have for living in America. I truly believe that America is a sacred land and that the founders of our nation were inspired. As I listened to the anthem this evening, I thought "why was I so blessed to be born here when so many others are born into far less ideal circumstances?"

I believe that with great blessings come great responsibility. And we, my friends, have been immensely blessed far beyond our ability to comprehend. In times of difficulty and opposition, I hope we can retain a realistic perspective of how truly lucky we are despite our trials. In times of prosperity and peace, I hope we can remember that not everyone is as blessed as we are, and find ways to give of our time and resources.

And for me, I will apply this principle TODAY as I sit back down to finish the paper I started earlier and each subsequent assignment I need to complete. As I face a never-ending "To-Do" list, I will remember that my perpetual tasks are only a reflection of a life only possible in a land of opportunity.