We don’t seize the moment; the moment seizes us
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We don’t seize the moment; the moment seizes us
  • Chon Ye-jin
  • 승인 2020.08.31 20:32
  • 댓글 0
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Division of International Studies
Chon Ye-jinDivision of International Studies
Chon Ye-jin
Division of International Studies

​​​​​​​You know how everyone’s always saying seize the moment?
I don’t know…
I kind of think it's the other way around, you know, like the moment seizes us

Boyhood (2014)


Living in 21st century basically means living in a world that pressures you to pursue extreme efficiency. As a Korean high schooler, I felt that a lot and tried to spend every minute and second exquisitely. However, the pressure is not only about work efficiency or education, but it also connotes to ‘living a healthy, happy life.’ There are unseen pressures to ‘be happy’ throughout our society. It’s hard. We must be socially successful, get good grades, stay fit, and also be ‘happy’ at once. No wonder why people complain while scrolling through their Instagram feed, saying they feel like they are the only one ‘not happy’. It’s almost like a competition… of displaying the level of happiness they are enjoying.


‘Seize the moment’ is a famous English phrase that derives from carpe diem. Interestingly, walking through streets and stores, this phrase is very commonly seen. Both phrases mean ‘don’t miss the opportunity’ or ‘hold on to the happiness’. It’s undeniably a good motto-but unfortunately, sometimes sounds like it’s pressuring people to live 100% of today, like I have to perfectly seize the opportunity and happiness, to live a good, happy life. Of course, the letter themselves are innocent. It is just the social atmosphere combined with the phrase that creates a stifling mood for many people: We are living in a society that pressures us to prepare for the ‘perfect future’, but we also have to ‘seize the moment(right now)’ as well. As a person who tried to ‘seize the moment’ and struggled to live a happy (based on strict social standards) life and not fall behind, here’s what I want to say. Hard work and efforts that were put in to seize the happiness makes the happiness unworthy. We should not work hard to seize the moments. Instead, we should relax our minds from the happiness competition people are having. The moments will seize you, even if you don’t hold on to them strongly.


Happiness is like a quilt blanket. The colorful pieces of square quilts holding blissful memories and happiness come together to make a cozy blanket we can spend days on. What I want to point out is that every quilt blanket is unique, and it is composed of different colors: if they were factory produced or were composed of similar colors it won’t be as beautiful. To let the moment seize us, and create a personal quilt blanket to lie on, I think there are things that we should keep in our minds as we live through this difficult life.


Stop comparing yourself with others. It is probably the hardest thing to do living as a human being, but we have to remember that everyone has their own speed and patterns. Think of the phrase Korean singer Ailee said: “New York is 3 hours ahead of California, but that doesn’t make California slow. Everyone has their own time zone, so relax.” Everyone has their own moment and precious moments of happiness. There aren’t grades in them so stop grading yourself. The society does plenty of that. All we have to do is stop comparing and blaming ourselves and just relax our minds. Just tell yourself “It’s not your fault” like Robin Williams-who also starred in Seize the day- did in the movie Good will Hunting. When we start loving ourselves and let go of the feelings of inferiority the moment will seize us, without us seizing them.


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