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Cool Grass on a Hot Summer Day

I was sitting in science class when I had a revelation.

I know, not the most exciting place. We were learning about heat and energy, and I was dwelling on the shocking similarity of my science teacher to a turtle. Then he said something that caught my attention.

“Imagine yourself in the middle of July. It's a beautiful day: the temperature is in the 80s and the sun is beating down from the middle of the sky.”

As he spoke, I knew that every student's mind was drifting to thoughts of summer, which seemed so distant in the uncharacteristically chilly April weather. The teacher continued, “You're walking back from the beach with no shoes on. You have to cross a stretch of dark pavement to get to the other side of the road. You run to the other side, across the hot pavement. What's the first thing you do when you reach the other side? Walk on the hot sidewalk or step onto the cool grass?”

Almost without thinking, all of us responded, “Grass.” And at that moment, I realized that every one of us—except maybe the kids who were asleep—were imagining the same feeling. The feeling of the heat of summer, of walking on grass without shoes. Every one of us knew that exact feeling.

Then I realized that humankind has a myriad of mutual experiences. Every sensation you can think of, every emotion that's swept over you, has almost certainly been felt before. It's the context and the way you react to it that differs for each person, and these differences are what shape us.

The next time you feel alone or think that nobody has undergone what you have, think of the infinite number of human experiences. Chances are, you aren't in uncharted territory. Someone else has been there before you—but that doesn't mean you have to follow in their footsteps.

In a limitless expanse of experiences, you aren't the only one stumbling through and trying to find a path.

Everyone knows the pain of loneliness. So when it's your turn to feel it again, just think about cool grass on a hot summer day and know that you aren't alone.



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