We asked our regular contributors through e-mail What should everyone experience in their lifetime? We got many interesting responses. Here are some of them. We have just copied and pasted their responses, not editing them in any way.
1. Seeing the stars far away from any ambient light. Where you can see the Milky Way and a steady stream of shooting stars. It’s awe-inspiring and changes your perspective about your place in the universe.
2. Financial security. I do believe that though money can’t bring happiness when you don’t have it, it can absolutely hinder it greatly.
3. The night sky without light pollution. Nothing has ever made me feel so connected to life than gazing into that black ocean.
4. A full solar eclipse. It is one of the most unnatural things I have experienced and can understand why people for millennia have assigned supernatural attributes to it. I was watching it from beside a lake – the slow crescendo of crickets chirping as the sun turned purple and then suddenly turned into the night gave me chills. Nothing has ever made me feel smaller and at the mercy of celestial bodies than that experience.
5. Being the “dumb one”. For some people, they’re never really challenged academically/intellectually and I think that’s a shame. Being the dumbest person in a group of smart people means you have the opportunity to learn from them. It’s also very humbling (in a good way).
A lot of people don’t experience this until college, or in grad school, or in their professional environment…and then they’re totally wrecked by it. But it’s also such an important experience. Being a “big fish in a small pond” can be beneficial, but don’t avoid challenges either…I truly think you learn more being a small fish in a big pond.
I heard a quote once, “if you’re the smartest person in the room, find another room” and I completely agree with it.
6. As someone who comes from a country with a lot of mountains and hills, I would highly recommend going trekking to places accessible only on foot. It’s really nice to see the untouched, peaceful nature existing there, without humans to ruin it.
7. Failure and I don’t mean this in a bad way. But I feel like most, if not all the progress/growth I’ve made so far in life has been a direct result of failure.
8. Another culture. It really opens your eyes and broadens your horizons to experience another culture. There’s a lot to learn about the world.
9. Eating out alone, going to a concert alone, just experiencing doing things by yourself. Especially while young, learning to be comfortable with yourself as your only company while enjoying beautiful things in life is so freeing.
10. Northern lights.