Understanding Life

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Understanding Life is a letter sent by a budding letter writer about her personal experiences towards maturity and understanding life in the process.She believes that true understanding comes with empathy more than knowledge.

Original Photo by:

Original Photo by: Prawny


Sometimes I wonder, what will make me grow? How can I become more mature? What do I have to learn? How many experiences do I need?

A lot of questions but it all boils down to: Understanding Life.

All the teachers and adults during my high school days and earlier, would often tell me to broaden my mind, to be open-minded, to study hard and read lots of books so I can understand what’s going on around me. They say the  failures and mistakes of people from history books will tell me what not to repeat. What have I learned from all these things?

I realized it just now.

Whenever someone preaches to me, or tell me of their experiences, share to me their knowledge and wisdom, they always have the same last statement: Be careful of your choices, always try to make the right decision.

No doubt they are right. But I often get this feeling that it’s not enough – something is not right or there seems to be something missing. I can’t exactly put it in words but kinda sense a feeling of misunderstanding. I get this feeling that what they are trying to tell me is wrong.

The facts, I mean everything from the books, people, teachers and everything I have encountered that taught me about life and knowledge, are mostly right, I won’t deny that. I just can’t shake the feeling that there is something wrong about the interpretation, the views passed on to many.

It is said that when we become knowledgeable, we understand and become mature. From the experiences we go through, we will come to understand life, have a change of view, modify our attitude towards others, and behave in a more mature way. I have grown… there is something in those lines that many are so proud of.

I just realized that we don’t just grow from having knowledge and understanding them, because it goes beyond that. It is said that understanding people emotionally lets us grow. It’s stupid to argue with this but for me, it’s wrong.

There are a lot of people who seem immature in our eyes because maybe they are rebels, have anger issues, or are just plain immature. But I believe that this kind of people are more mature than those who seem more mature. Sounds confusing?

I’ll tell a story that just happened yesterday when my boyfriend fetched me from school after class. I was in a good mood the whole day while on the other hand, he seemed like he wasn’t. It was painful seeing like he was mad at me for something I’ve done and I can feel him being really frustrated. It made me cry because we got into an argument, but in the end we just made up but the damage was already done. So we parted with a heavy feeling that was just left  hanging, and it kept bugging me, I mean what happened? The argument was one-sided because I was the one who opened up and he just kept silent, like nothing was wrong.

Then just before I wrote this, I sneaked into his FB account to read his messages. There I saw a conversation with one of his closest girl friend who likes my boyfriend. From their conversation, it seems to me they went out and had a heart-to-heart conversation. This girl opened up to my boyfriend about her problems and stuffs. I remember just the other day my boyfriend said he doesn’t really care about her but from what I have understood, he cared enough to give this girl advice minus any sort of romantic angle.

What does that have to do with this?

I finally understand my boyfriend. Although he didn’t want to show that he did care for the other girl as a friend, his heart is telling him otherwise.He was carrying a burden yesterday and had this heavy atmosphere around him that I didn’t understand. He was affected because he was human, he had empathy for her (is that how we call it?) that even if he didn’t understand it himself, he had felt it. And I believe this is the core to becoming mature. A key to understanding life.

Life is being human. That”s what I believe.

Being human is having a strong connection to others that you can almost feel their burden. It is about sharing the emotions and making it our own. Even if we don’t understand these things yet, it’ll just come naturally to us. This what makes us mature, and not so much as having superior knowledge or intelligence.

Is it similar to just knowing? I think not.

If only people would try to feel it more rather than just relying on knowledge, then there would be no one suffering 🙁

Knowledge of the heart, not the mind.


About the Guest Letter Writer  10509763_10153073422901564_7314008249612242888_n

She is Theresa Claire Lopena, Claire for short, born and raised in Manila, Philippines, 21 years old, currently a part-time model and student. She loves reading about a lot of stuffs, stories, essays, articles, or just about anything that interests her. She also describes herself as artistic while confiding that she’s a bit afraid of others knowing that.



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Teresa Martinez

A freelance researcher-writer who has continuously been in such field for more than 10 years. Previous to that, her work experiences are in the banking, advertising, and cooperative industries. More of her work in Google+

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2 Responses to “Understanding Life”

  1. Life is something to savour and cherish. I love the idea about understanding life.

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