Take the risks that involve living than just surviving

Belle Wilson, Editor-in-Chief

To truly live life, there are risks at hand. Living life means to use your freewill in order to make conscious decisions that will make you whole. This makes you feel accomplished and complete.

Living isn’t just surviving.
Surviving is what one would call “going through the motions of life,” just hoping to make it to the next day.
The question is: are we all surviving or living our lives? Sometimes it’s hard to decipher if we are truly savoring our lives or just simply existing.
In recent years, there’s been a push to focus on staying safe. Of course, this is vital in human life. However, when that focus consumes a society, the actual part of enjoying humanity is a secondary thought.
Fear is powerful. It’s so powerful that it reconstructs the word “living” into taking a new definition of a status quo of just surviving until the next day.
Even something as major or minor as a phobia can paralyze one with terror and anxiety. The fear of heights is called acrophobia. People with acrophobia experience intense anxiety when presented with or even thinking about tall heights. This level of fear is so perpetuating that it can force a person into avoiding parts of life that would otherwise be enjoyable, such as overlooking the view of their favorite city. In extreme cases, it can cause one to be unable to even perform simple tasks, such as climbing stairs or looking out of a window.
Fear is justifiable. Most of the time, there is a driving force behind that fright. This is understandable, and we have to have empathy and respect that a person’s fears are their own, even if we may not experience them personally. We all have fears whether rational or irrational.
However, we must decide how to live and coexist without allowing these dreaded feelings to overtake our lives.
To live surrounded by fear the question everyone must ask themselves is: is truly living worth the risk of not surviving?
Nobody can answer that question for you.
I know my answer, though.
Life isn’t worth living if I’m not working each day to become self-fulfilled and to partake in the traditions and customs that distinguish who I am — to hug and kiss my loved ones and tell them how much I love them and to continue to thrive in education and self-discovery.
Surviving isn’t worth giving up who you are and who you are meant to become.
This was shown in the Warsaw ghetto by a man named Yitzhak Katzenelson, a teacher. He strove to teach his students to love their Jewish heritage, despite that at the time, the education and worshiping of Judaism was illegal in Nazi Germany.
Although no one but Jewish Holocaust survivors can fully convey how scary this experience was, historical documents prove fear was prevalent as the Jewish community witnessed their loved ones being taken away and dehumanized.
Despite this fear, people like Yitzhak Katzenelson made a decision. He decided to be alive rather than just survive. With not just his life on the line, but the lives of the whole ghetto, Katzenelson risked it all. He chose to not allow the fear he felt to stop him from educating his community about what mattered so much to him. His actions helped empower others to never give up.
Knowing life isn’t guaranteed, especially during the Nazi takeover of Germany, Jewish citizens stood up and resisted fear to maintain their post-war life. They did this because the value of keeping and practicing their core convictions made them who they were. Life was too short to not take every moment to do something that made them feel connected.
As much as fear can polarize and tear people apart, it can also allow for people to join together and overcome aversion, to take risks, and to feel fulfilled.
No matter what strikes the world next, ask yourself if you feel like you’re living or surviving. While the factors of what make life meaningful may vary from person to person, hopefully the common ground can be that living is so much more than just surviving.