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The Finer Things

By Richard Luo


“The finer things in life” generally refers to the subtle, under-the-radar, minute pleasures we take for granted. Instead of obsessing over fancy sports cars, fine dining, 24 Karat gold rings, take a deep breath, and examine the setting sun, fireworks, and the soothing rhythm of ocean waves washing up on the beach. These are the finer things. Unfortunately, a large number of people are under the misconception that you need to go on vacation or travel to Alaska in order to appreciate the wonders of nature. But luckily for you, fine things are all around you.

From the towering, empowering Yosemite Falls to the concealed shrubbery peeking through cracks in sidewalks, the outdoors are a force of nature. The beauty of the former is indisputable; in fact, waterfalls, mountains, forests are the epitome of beauty in nature. For instance, if presented with a prompt to find something captivating, 9 times out of 10 we would probably choose a waterfall . But what we haven't fully realized yet, is the refinement of the latter. We see shrubs, leaves, moss and we don’t even bat an eye - sometimes we’re even repulsed by them. Shrubs need to be cleared, people are hired to blow leaves off sidewalks, and moss needs to be hosed down. However, it’s important to realize that these forms of greenery are the types we have access to every day. And if the only forms of nature we appreciate come in the form of towering mountains and stunning cliff views, we would really only appreciate nature’s beauty once or twice a year. So while you shouldn’t allow unkempt hedges to inundate your backyard, we should make an effort to enjoy forms of greenery that are all around us.

At this point you may be inspired to make an attempt to appreciate the more common manifestations of nature. But as you go outside and touch some grass, you realize you simply aren’t enthralled by these regular leaves and basic trees. Here’s where I come in:

In the picture above, a pine tree branch takes the spotlight while the Grand Canyon sits in the audience. Some may find it nonsensical that my family and I traveled to the Grand Canyon and I decided to take a picture of a pine tree. So you may ask the question, what makes this pine tree so special? The answer is nothing. There is nothing special about the pine tree, they can be found all over the Northern Hemisphere and even in my backyard. So why did I take that picture? Simply because it caught my eye. Here’s the important part: To enjoy the finer things of nature, you should always have an open mentality. Appreciate all the plants, shrubbery, and greenery like it is the first time you’ve ever seen them. After all, just because you’ve seen something dozens of times doesn’t mean it gets uglier. To drive this point home, just imagine a world where people had that mindset when dating.


Now, go outside and touch some more grass. Touch some leaves, touch poison ivy, touch some trees and admire every little detail. Examine the variation in size of each individual leaf or clover, take a look at the distinct curvatures of the bark at the base of a tree, or pick some of the moss out of the sidewalk cracks and try to determine whether its edible (just kidding). In essence, enjoy the finer things of nature.

As a final note, I’ll grace you with a picture of a rose I took on a random college campus in California.

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