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viewpoint

I write to get a rise out of you

| Thursday, April 24, 2014

My parents criticize me for consistently antagonizing my brother, teasing him, making him angry for merely existing sometimes. Some part of me enjoys seeing him get mad about me popping my gum too loud or eating one of his French fries when he isn’t looking. Another part is curious in the workings of his mind, testing him out, trying to figure out what makes him tick.

Even at the tender age of 19, I enjoy getting a reaction out of my brother in the same way as I did years ago.

In a similar way, part of me writes to get a rise out of my readers.

I write for a variety of reasons, more often than not because I have a desire to hopefully educate others on the side effects of their actions and the actions of their peers, evidenced by my sharing of my opinions on ethnic/race-relations at the university, but more so lately to create a rise in individuals who are set on disagreeing with my opinions.

I sometimes consider if this makes me a sadistic being. I doubt it, but others may disagree.

I do this thing where I laugh about the absurdity of my articles and secretly read every comment that people post on them. I thoughtfully ponder the criticism and comments I receive then go on with my life. I have sworn off of entering heated debates on the Internet out of respect for myself.

I read through comments of people angry about life, angry that I am sharing my experiences that tarnish the image of the Notre Dame family, angry that my views clash with their own, maybe angry that I, and others, have forced them to look into the deeper parts of their souls that they refused to believe existed.

Whatever people are angry about, it is a little scary.

Most of my pieces end up not having a point to them. Even as I am writing this, I am struggling to find any reason in typing this out into words. What is the point of writing? Maybe my recent analysis of Joan Didion’s “Slouching Toward Bethlehem” and his existential crisis has brought me to the same point in life. I don’t take myself very seriously, and neither should you.

Life doesn’t have much meaning either. A lot of people I have encountered are so focused on the end goal, making a lot of money, having a great job and living in a big house in the suburbs of Chicago. There is a desire to present oneself as perfectly as possible, to care about your image, how you are received by others, and so forth. All of these things contribute to a life of dissatisfaction.

Human obsessions with superficial things is disheartening. There is not greater meaning to life than to just be happy. Be happy with what you have in your life in this very moment. Be glad that you woke up this morning and that the sun is out. Be happy that you are alive in this very moment in time. Sometimes it’s nice to be completely oblivious of the rest of the world’s problems.

Stop focusing on the future. When you’re always looking ahead at what could be, you miss the great things happening in your life at this very moment. If you’re not satisfied with your life, change it immediately; don’t just wallow in your own self-pity.

You might be questioning what the point of this article was, so am I.

“Do not take life too seriously. You will never get out of it alive.” –Elbert Hubbard

The views expressed in this column are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.

About Katrina Linden

Katrina Linden is a sophomore English and Latino Studies major living in Lewis Hall.

Contact Katrina