Ashby Law - November 2019



Appreciating What We Do Have Life Lessons From Our Favorite Literature

radiator cracked and was unable to start his truck. My dad’s car was totaled; he had severe whiplash and had to go to physical therapy for two years afterward. “His whole world revolved around wealth and the love he could gain with it. Every night he would be left alone, peering out at the green light radiating from the dock of his true love.” During that time, my dad and I talked about the silver linings of the situation. My sister had been in the car seat during the accident, so we were happy she was safe. Due to his injuries, my dad spent a few days at home, so we were thankful to spend more time together. And hey, since the car was totaled, he got a new car! Life is full of silver linings, and our family traditions give us a chance to look back and be thankful for them. Before diving into Thanksgiving dinner, we go around the table and share what we’re most thankful for. We share the strengths we see in each other, what we’ve seen our family overcome in the year, and where we’re headed to in the future. This year, I’m grateful for the passion my dad and I share for literature. It has gotten us through some rough times and pushes us to look forward to what the next day brings. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving everyone.

attempts to use his money to attain love and happiness only left him alone, with only one person attending his funeral. Another example in literature became quite useful when my dad was in a bad car accident years ago. “Candide” is a philosophical work by Voltaire that doubles as a satire and is a family favorite for how well it shows the importance of the silver linings in life. In the book, as Candide loses everything, he champions, “All is for the best in the best of all worlds.” Essentially, if we blindly think everything is great, then nothing is. So, we need to recognize and value what we do have. In the end, he finds that the key to happiness is not comparing ourselves to our friends, but in Candide’s words, “We must cultivate our own gardens.” When I was in high school, my dad was rear- ended by a landscaping truck. The guy tried to take off since he didn’t have insurance. The cops found him a few blocks down after his

Thanksgiving is an excellent time to turn off all the distractions and focus on our families. As a society, we tend to take what we have for granted. To help combat this every year, my family likes to look back at a couple of our favorite books and share what we’re most thankful for. It’s never beneficial to compare yourself to the Joneses, as there will always be someone who has more than you. Those who live in the past or compare themselves to others are always let down. “The Great Gatsby,” by F. Scott Fitzgerald, is a great example of this. It shows that all of the material things in the world don’t equate to happiness. Jay Gatsby had enormous wealth, expensive cars, and a mansion, but none of it equated to real joy. His whole world revolved around wealth and the love he thought he could gain with it. Every night he would be left alone, peering out at the green light radiating from the dock of his true love. His

-Zachary C Ashby | 1

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