Generation 21: Strandberg and Koepke |

Generation 21: Strandberg and Koepke

Randi Strandberg

An annoying giggle from the girl in the row in front of you in church. A barely audible chuckle from the boy down the hallway listening to his friends jokes. A cackle from your obnoxious aunt at the Thanksgiving dinner table. All forms of laughter; all forms of happiness.

Laughing is my absolute favorite thing to do, and I hope that never changes. Whoever invented laughing should be given a Nobel Peace Prize because laughter saves lives every single day. There isn’t a moment that goes by when someone is laughing that they aren’t at least a smidgen happy.

And not only is laughter and smiles good for the person laughing, it can really brighten someone else’s day as well. There are so many references throughout history and literature about smiling and laughing and how amazing it is. Have you ever heard the phrase, “It takes 37 muscles to frown, but only 22 muscles to smile?” Or that if you laugh every day, you’ll live longer? Well that last one might not be a real saying, but I think it applies nicely here. Although I do truly believe that “laughter is the best medicine,” I think pure joy of life and living has slipped away from society. More and more you find people who are pessimistic and who hate their lives, and suicide rates are climbing to a high. And I think that that needs to stop. Be thankful for being here on this earth, even if you can’t be thankful for anything more. Even if you can’t change your circumstances, make yourself happy by laughing, one of the best things in life. Take a second to smile today. You’ll notice that it feels good.

Where’s the Big Picture?

Marina Koepke

Our society has become so consumed in itself. I know this may sound a little redundant, but we have. We’re walking up the stairs of life staring down at our feet because hey, as long as we keep moving forward, life is working out just fine. I feel like we’ve lost our sight – too blind to recognize accomplishments, too blind to recognize something special, too blind to even tell right from wrong. This is society grinding along and not actually living the way it should be.

I like using the example of testing and school. We prepare to move to the next level, which prepares us for the next level, which ends up just preparing us for the next level and so on and so forth, and by doing this we’re not actually getting anywhere. We get too focused on the tiny little things, zooming in on them and losing the big picture or final goal. Real, quality work is lost.

Now, taking this idea to “the big picture,” think about running the school, the town, the state and even the country. If we’re all so focused on the small things, naïve to the ultimate goal or the big situation around us, we’re heading down for destruction. Tasks will not get accomplished and we’ll keep digging ourselves into deeper holes.

Maybe I’m the crazy one not seeing the big picture at work here and making assumptions, but everyday driving home from school I am always reassured that I am completely sane. Why? Because my proof of how ignorant and out-of-touch with everything society really is, is right at the bottom of Red Dirt Hill; the McDonald’s billboard that sits and casts a shadow over a pasture of cows.

Thank you all for reading Generation 21 this year! It has been a pleasure writing for you. Hope you all have a wonderful summer.