People have always tried to find meaning in everything, especially in life itself. There are different standpoints on the matter. I also used to think of that but could not find the necessary answer. However, now I understand that life is a human’s struggle for happiness. Noteworthy, the battle does not necessarily mean fights, pain, suffering, etc. (though sometimes people have to experience these things as well). The struggle is more about trying to enjoy life as it is, to live life to the fullest. My uncle’s life and even his death are the best illustrations of this kind of struggle. His experiences made me understand how to look at obstacles and how to overcome them.
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Uncle Ali was a bright and inspiring student. He was full of energy and always knew what exactly he wanted. We all believed he would become a successful man whatever career he chose. He was a model for me as he understood the importance of education and development. I shared his viewpoints on lots of issues. Irrespective of the age difference, we were quite close to my uncle. It was my last year at high school, and it was his last year at the university when he found out about his health problem. Of course, it was a horrible blow to everyone when Ali was diagnosed with cancer.
He did not expect that, and he did not even know how to react. He could not believe it was happening. He made several tests to make sure there was no mistake. Unfortunately, the diagnosis was correct. Ali was devastated. It seemed no one could comfort him, and he would go into his shell. However, this period lasted a few days. Soon, he became the Ali we had known before the diagnosis. However, he would not talk about his health and diagnosis. He did not want to talk about it, and we did not dare start the conversation concerning his condition. He was a bit different, but he was still a hardworking student and a caring member of our family.
There was one evening when we all got together for a meal. Ali started talking about his health and his future plans. He said he had been thinking for a long time about his life. He understood that there was little hope to recover, but he was determined to continue his studies. He said he was eager to get his degree and live his life to the fullest. He also told us about his struggle with himself. He said that first, he decided to continue living his normal life.
Meanwhile, he wanted to find the answer to his questions. After a while, Ali understood that the answer to his question was life. In other words, he preferred living and achieving his goals rather than giving up and thinking of his disease and his fate. Once he understood that, he became confident and even happy.
Admittedly, Ali had many really horrible days when his pain was intolerable. He also suffered a lot, but he never complained. He kept studying and spending time with his friends and relatives. We did not talk much about Ali’s health. However, he told me once that the disease made him cherish every moment of his life. He graduated from university, and he got his degree. He was happy, and we were really proud of him. Several months after the graduation, Ali died.
I lost my close friend, but his experiences and his struggle made me understand a really important thing. First of all, I understood that positive thinking is something possible and really helpful in certain situations. Ziglar and Ziglar Norman (2009, p. 3) claim that it is crucial to living “life on life’s terms.” Ali had this positive attitude and managed to enjoy his life. My uncle managed to understand that it is essential to accept the things you cannot change. I also understand that being positive helps people go on.
However, the major lesson my uncle taught me is, of course, his decision to remain a part of society. He did not want to be in his shell and suffer from his pain (physical and emotional). He found joy in communicating with his peers, friends, and relatives, or even professors. It was a good lesson for me. There were moments when I thought I did not need anyone. I thought I was a loner, and it was better for me and my future. Clearly, I was wrong. People need society. We need other people’s support and understanding. Being lonely and thinking about some problems can be dangerous for an individual. When we are interacting, we find the strength to go on, and we can even forget about our sorrows.
Now, I can confess that I have acknowledged what the meaning of our life is. People live to set goals and achieve them, to interact and develop human society. We all live to bring meaning to our and other people’s lives. I used to look for something larger than life, but I understand that living with other people is the major aim of any individual. I am not chasing after greater goals and predestinations now. I understand that my choices and my life have an enormous impact on other people’s lives.
My uncle’s experiences helped me understand this. I believe this understanding can help me face any issues. I think people can handle any problem if they understand that their life is meaningful, and each day brings joy and happiness.
Of course, now I also know that some tiny issues I face are nothing compared to my uncle’s experiences. I understand that I can overcome any issues, and I do not get upset because of some difficulties related to my studies or personal life. Some students develop depressions because of their poor marks or unanswered love. I think this is ridiculous, and they simply do not know what the most horrible things are. I am even a bit sorry for them as they seem unprepared to face real constraints. As far as I am concerned, I am ready to cope with any issue. At least, I have a really great example of courage and wisdom.
In conclusion, I would like to note that the death of my uncle, who was young and full of energy, made me understand a very important thing. There is no point in trying to change things you cannot change. There is no point in being alone and trying to handle everything on your own. This makes people miserable. On the contrary, it is vital to remain open and live among people and to interact with everyone. Now, I understand that even the most serious problems are experiences that have a certain impact on us and the rest of the world.
Ziglar, Z., & Ziglar Norman, J. (2009). Embrace the struggle: Living life on life’s terms. New York, NY: Simon and Schuster.