Written by Cassidy Knipp, WLLC 2015-2016

Wake up, get dressed, eat, go to class, study, and repeat 5x a week. So often we find ourselves in a numbing routine that closes us off to our surroundings, further isolating us from each other. Personally, I believe isolation is a killer. I went to a church service the past week and it was amazing. I have been struggling to find a church here in Denver that fit my beliefs and also had a relaxed vibe, and now I finally found one (the venue is also amazing). One of the quotes the preacher said I will not forget. The quote went like this, “Some of us have done half the enemies work by isolation ourselves”. When we get stuck in our numbing routine, we find ourselves overlooking the little things and not appreciating the fact that we have complete freedom and are here in the beautiful state of Colorado. While waking up, getting dresses, eating, and going to class are all necessary daily elements for a college student, we can allow our mind and senses to be aware of our surroundings outside of that routine.

Gratitude is defined as “the willingness to recognize the unearned increments of value in one’s experience” (Blessings vs Burdens). I believe gratitude is the answer for isolation, and a “crucial determinant of well-being” (Blessings vs Burdens). Personally, I have seen the positive effects of expressing gratitude in my life, and I believe others will be able to too. An aspect of gratitude is “compassionate creativity” (ABCs of Grace). I interpret this creativity when I have an encounter with a person I do not care for. For example, after a bad encounter I would take a few breaths and then say all the reasons why I am grateful for that person, even if I strongly dislike them. After expressing gratitude for that person, there is no “trace of resentment” only a strong feeling of grace (ABCs of Grace).

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