Nothing Lost

July 28, 2008
By Alison Kearns, Marshfield, MA

A famous quote once spoken by Henry James, “Try to be one of the people on whom nothing is lost,” is an essential piece of advice to which people across the universe should follow. The phrase “nothing is lost” in the quote can be interpreted in many ways, however I believe that it applies to what a person does or does not observe in the world around them. Especially in our country, the human race has become so customized to a stressful and fast-paced life filled with the newest technology that we forget to take the time to observe the natural beauty around us. Surprisingly, I have learned that children are the closest followers of this advice. The innocence and naivety of children truly allows them to take in everything in the world around them, rather than focus on material wants that tend to be the focus of most adults. One day, I was babysitting for my three- year old neighbor when he asked me if we could go for a walk to the beach. We packed up all of our beach gear and started on our journey down the road. As we walked along the road I concerned myself with matters such as whether my cell phone was charged, if I had enough money to pay for ice cream, and how much further I would have to walk while carrying uncomfortable chairs before we finally reached our destination. To my dismay, my little friend Nicholas stopped every ten feet and began to point out things such as an anthill, a seagull, and a thorny plant that he soon discovered was painful to touch. I continued to rush him along, somewhat annoyed at the constant stopping and questioning. As he hurried to keep up with me, I took a quick glance down at his face and was amazed at his expression. Nicholas was astounded at the littlest things, things I happened to take for granted every single day. I had walked down that very road an infinite number of times and had not once noticed any of the things that Nicholas was truly in awe of. Was my ignorance of all of these intriguing things simply a natural effect of growing older, or had I learned to no longer value this beauty that my little friend found fascinating? My conviction is that it is a combination of both. Although I definitely still do value the things that Nicholas pointed out to me, I simply do not even notice them anymore. I have become another stressed out adult, accustomed to running from one job to the next and never taking the time to relax and merely take in my surroundings. Fortunately for me, Nicholas taught me that it is necessary to take a couple stops along the road of life so that “nothing would be lost” on me.

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This article has 14 comments.

on Mar. 1 2009 at 4:52 am
hannahbell BRONZE, Ramsey, New Jersey
3 articles 0 photos 4 comments
This is really good!

Keep writing!

baller5 said...
on Feb. 2 2009 at 9:22 am
adults know more than babies,though in a obvious way ,adults lost something that babies have .

destinee said...
on Jan. 6 2009 at 5:21 pm
Great job, but you need paragraphs.

Twinkletoes said...
on Oct. 28 2008 at 1:48 am
that was cute. you should of pushed nicholas into the bush though.

Annie W. said...
on Oct. 11 2008 at 2:27 am
i realy, really, loved this and your an amazing writer! but i had a kind of hard time reading it, because, there were no spaces, or new paragraphs.

Jay said...
on Aug. 28 2008 at 10:33 am
I'd love to read the context in which Henry James made his statement, but you've truly put your own heart and thinking into it. Impressive work...keep writing!

mike said...
on Aug. 27 2008 at 4:22 am
I have also walked that road and neglected the opportunity to observe and enjoy my surroundings. Your article reminds us to make an effort to slow down and appreciate life. Thank you.

beachgirl said...
on Aug. 19 2008 at 12:57 am
Alison - How wise you are for your age! Most people don't learn this lesson until they are much older and some don't learn it at all. Thanks for reminding us to take time to look around and enjoy life.

CarolCowgirl said...
on Aug. 18 2008 at 11:59 am
What a wonderful piece; you have made me stop and think of all of the wonderful things I miss in my crazy life. Your words and insight are well beyond your years. GREAT JOB !!

Paul said...
on Aug. 16 2008 at 4:40 pm
Wow! After reading this, I paused to think about the things I should more appreciate.

on Aug. 15 2008 at 1:52 pm
Alison, what a great piece! I honestly felt like I was on the walk with you and Nicholas and I have been on that "walk" many times. You have given me a great reminder! Best of luck to you - you have a wonderful talent!

Elizabeth said...
on Aug. 15 2008 at 1:26 pm

I am very impressed that you not only recognized such an important part of life, but you communicated it so well in your article. What is considered mundane and arduous to many, walking down a familiar road with a three year old, can really be an enjoyable opportunity for "smelling the roses".

teresa said...
on Aug. 14 2008 at 11:48 pm
Alison----What a great job, not only was the piece eloquently written but the theme was exceptional for someone of your age. Most adults do not realize the crazy pace of todays world until it is too late.

Patty118 said...
on Aug. 14 2008 at 1:52 pm
You should be proud of your writing. This is yet another outstanding example of your talent! Keep up the great work and you will one day be very successful in public relations.

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