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In the 1950s with turmoil and war, Walter Hagen reflected on the social and political struggles of his time and encouraged others, “You’re only here for a short visit...be sure to smell the flowers along the way.” As life becomes messier, and decisions and opinions become blurry, we need to embrace every small instances that brings us joy.

As this phrase “stop and smell the roses,” may seem non-confrontational in an era where social justice needs to be at the forefront of our lives, it demonstrates the need to empower ourselves in the continuous fight to empower others.

Just as everyone else does, I have days I focus too hard on impending problems. One day, I obsess over the future of America, and the next, I obsess over the five pounds I gained last week. Everything is a problem; often times we can’t help ourselves from viewing the world as dim and ever-darkening.

I know consistent cliches seem as if they’re presenting a false sense of security, but seeing flowers grow in the sunlight, wafting their inviting scent your way, can help you realize the good in your own world. Hold on to every second you feel safe and confident, appreciate when you smile without trying, appreciate when you’re so lost in a moment that you don’t care how you look. Stop and smell the roses.

Erica Amdal

Augustana '22

My name is Erica Amdal. Aiming to major in Anthropology, I am intrigued by the values in societies and how humans are interconnected yet immensely diverse. I strive to immerse myself in different cultures to gain more insight on the colorful lives of other humans. Coinciding with my desire to study different cultures and their unique attributes, I am motivated and intrigued by the ability of people to interpret art in ways that adhere to their own lives, which influences my stylized approach in my own work.
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