Memento mori

This is a Latin phrase that means ‘remember you must die’.

Sounds a bit morbid I know, but in the hustle and bustle of our lives, it's all too easy to get caught up in the rush, juggling responsibilities, and chasing future goals. Attending a discussion on the aged care sector recently was a gentle reminder to me of the importance of presence and gratitude for the people in our lives. None of us can live forever.

Remembering this prompted me to enjoy each phase of life as it comes, as well as all the different friendships and relationships we make, keep, and even lose. Time is a precious commodity, and when you give someone your time and presence, you're offering them a significant gift. It says, "You matter to me, and I value our connection." In a world where time often feels scarce, this gesture can be incredibly meaningful. I’ve asked other students what they practice to enhance presence when being around others and here are some of their responses.

  • Active listening: When someone is speaking to you, make a conscious effort to actively listen. Instead of thinking about your response or getting distracted by other thoughts, focus on what the person is saying. Maintain eye contact and show that you genuinely care about their words.
  • Put away your devices: Our smartphones and gadgets can be major distractions when we're trying to connect with others. When engaging in a conversation or spending quality time with someone, put your devices on silent or in another room to eliminate the temptation to check them.
  • Practice empathy: Empathy involves not only understanding someone else's perspective but also feeling what they feel. Try to put yourself in the other person's shoes and imagine how they might be experiencing the situation. This empathetic approach can help you connect on a deeper level.
  • Be patient: Being present with someone means giving them your time and patience. Avoid rushing through conversations or constantly checking the time. Give the person you're with your full attention, and let the conversation flow naturally.
  • Set boundaries: While being present with others is important, it's also crucial to establish healthy boundaries. It's okay to communicate when you need some alone time or when you can't be fully present due to other commitments.

Being present and appreciating the people I have strengthens my relationships. It builds trust, deepens emotional bonds, and fosters a sense of belonging. When you're really there with someone, you make awesome memories together. These are like the building blocks that make your relationships strong and special. It could be the times you laughed so hard you couldn't stop, the moments you had each other's backs when things got tough, or just chilling and having a good time. These memories are the real gems of life.

Tagged in What messes with your head, reflection, Student life, mental health