The Thing About the Good Life

The thing about the good life – which according to Dictionary.com is “…life abounding in material comforts and luxuries.” – is that it’s definition is different to each and every one of us. To some, it may be materialistic, as in the more they have, the more complete their life is. To others, it may be the measure of who is in their life and how they make them feel. Again, the thing is – your perceived “good life” is more so about the atmosphere surrounding you rather than anything you could possibly have. Take this past weekend for example – this Sunday, I was at work, and I’ll admit it, I was feeling a little under the weather. I was feeling run down, and I was ready to go home. However, with about an hour left in my shift, our store received a call from a customer I interacted with earlier that day – commending my performance and thanking my manager for the experience they received in the store that day. And while that compliment did not increase my net worth, give me a promotion, or provide me with anything physical, it did change my worldview. 

The overall perspective from which one sees and interprets the world.”

Worldview is a funny thing – recently, it’s become a part of the English curriculum in Saskatchewan, and I’m happy it did. Each person’s perspective of a situation differs based upon their past experiences and memories, and here’s why that’s a good thing: it gives every individual a unique approach to interpreting their future experiences.

But how did this experience affect my worldview?

You see – some one took time out of their day to go the extra mile for me – something that, in today’s media, you don’t see much of. We’re constantly trying to change in order to be a perfect person. Trying to change our looks to get the attention of that special someone; trying to show off our wealth to all who may be observing; trying to run for positions that we are most definitely not qualified for (looking at you DT). However, it is these experiences, these absolutely heart warming experiences keep us grounded.  They show us that maybe – just maybe – there’s more to life than trying to change.

“To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment. ” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

I encourage you, just as this gentleman did with his experience with me, go out of your way to thank someone. Say “have a nice day” to that cashier that helped before they get a chance to – I promise you it will throw them off a little bit.

Also, my brother shared an amazing quote with me tonight (I’m not 100% sure on the author).

“Don’t worry about those that talk behind your back; they’re behind you for a reason.”

I think that’s going to be my new philosophy for those who have encountered bullying.

Thanks for reading, and don’t forget to share!

The Thing About the Good Life 2016-09-27T05:31:43+00:00

The Three R’s – Read, Read, Read.

As I’m sitting here at my desk, staring at the multiple piles of books, some business, others fiction, I’m asking myself which movie to watch tonight. Do I have your attention or do you wish to re-read that last sentence to see if your eyes have deceived you? Either way, I probably will end up watching a movie tonight, however not before I read a few chapters (chances are, even more) of one of the many books that line my shelves and my aforementioned desk.

Now, I read out of sheer love for books and how they can take your mind off of many things – whether it be your studies, work or anything even remotely stressful. However, books are great for much more than escaping reality – they can actually increase intelligence and boost empathy.

…recent scientific studies have confirmed that reading and intelligence have a relationship so close as to be symbiotic. – The Guardian

Now, while I couldn’t say for sure if that is the case, I do notice a significant difference in my vocabulary and my word choice when I am actively reading books/articles on a daily base. In terms of emotional intelligence and empathy, a study was just recently done on that as well… in short, here’s a quote from the Express:

Keith Oatley, a Professor Emeritus of the University of Toronto Department of Applied Psychology and Human Development in Canada, argues that reading or watching narratives may encourage empathy. 

He said that by exploring the inner lives of characters on the page, readers can form ideas about others’ emotions, motives, and ideas, off the page.

And don’t just keep that reading to yourself either; studies show that reading to your children can actually increase their intelligence when they grow up (some articles to further that accusation) : Medical News Today, Early Moments, TIME.

Thanks Mom and Dad, for reading to me when I was young. Although I may have not understood why the Cow goes ‘Moo’ or why buildings are so big (I still don’t) I hope that your efforts have paid off… only time will tell.

And thank you for reading this. I sincerely hope it gives you something to think about.  If you enjoyed it, please share it by using one of the services below!

The Three R’s – Read, Read, Read. 2016-07-26T02:22:33+00:00

The Touching Story of… A Billion Dollar Company?

As I’m sitting in the car on my way back from Kamloops, my mind is basking in all of the newfound wisdom I’ve gained in the past week. I just (literally) finished my copy of Shoe Dog: A Memoir From The Creator of Nike by Phil Knight. When I first picked it up off of the business story shelf at my local bookstore, I was expecting a somewhat dry, but nonetheless, interesting tale of Nike’s success. Well, about 10 pages of the book were dedicated to that, which they definitely deserve. The rest of it however? It’s failures. It’s battles. It’s ferocious fight to be the best. And while I’m sitting here, writing this post, throwing all of these big words in, I can do nothing but recommend this book. As someone who considers himself to be a very driven person, I idolize Mr. Knight. He had a dream; a dream to create running shoes that would revolutionize the industry. I would say that the man who founded Nike, Inc. has done a remarkable job at just that. Throughout the book, you learn a remarkable amount about Phil and the hardships he endured to create the company as we know it today. It can be somewhat hard to believe that a company who now has sales of billions of dollars, started out in the trunk of a car (but, I guess you gotta start somewhere, right?). Without giving too much away, I urge everyone to pick up a copy and check it out for yourself. Why? Because no matter who you are, what you do for a living, or what you want to do in your life, you will draw inspiration from something Phil has done. Plus, you get to hear his side of the story on things like labour in factories (which, if you recall Nike was negatively portrayed a few years back). 

Seriously. Go pick up a copy. Or don’t, frankly it’s your life so do what you please… A great philosophy to live by. An even better philosophy to live by? Listen to Treyton. ‘Cause I’m awesome.

The Touching Story of… A Billion Dollar Company? 2016-06-06T03:15:51+00:00

I Strongly Dislike School

Picture of man in suit in front of desk.

So far, high school has been great. I get to go to school everyday, talk to my buddies, laugh at a few jokes and… and what else?

No seriously, what else? I mean yeah, sure, every week or two I wrap my head around some new concept, but what keeps pushing me to do my best and go to school each and every day?

I’ll let you in on my secret: nothing.

I personally love learning. I’ve taught myself how to code in a few different languages (granted, I’m definitely not the best coder, but it still intrigues me enough to continue to practice it). I love math: sudoku is awesome (make fun of me all you want). I enjoy reading books (currently on The Wolf of Wall Street, it’s crazy, crazy good), and I love diving head first into TED talks. Recently, I watched Josh Luber talk about sneakers (and money). TED talks allow me to gain a greater understanding of the world, and how things work.

My point is: if there’s anything even remotely interesting that I want to learn about, I have to do it on my own. Granted, a few teachers (not all, but few) do their jobs really well and teach me about things that I wouldn’t have known would interest me.

Now that I’ve gotten that rant out of the way, let’s get to the main part:

Everything about school kills me on the inside. Two weeks of learning mostly uninteresting and (what seems to be) useless information. Last semester, the only class that really sparked my interest was Pre-Calculus. And why? Because I’m interested in math, and how that can be translated in to many of the theories that are present in our world. Is that the same in everyone? Absolutely not, everyone is different. Some might be interested in Science, whether it’s the study of our bodies, our world, or things out of this world (had to throw that one in there). Others, however, might love Physical Education and the study of kinematics in relation to our body. God forbid, some may actually enjoy English and writing essays (I know it’s only the curriculum, but they’re brutal).

So, let me ask you this: if everyone is different, enjoys different subjects and learning about different ideologies, why does everyone get taught the same thing, and get tested equally?

The answer: I have no clue. Why would I? I’m simply just an puppet in this whole show. I have no answers.

The one thing I do know for sure is that if you’re interested in something, take a few hours every once in a while to enjoy what you can learn, and how you can do it on your own (YouTube is great for learning, as is Udemy, or Codecademy if you’re interested in code).

This might seem like a weird post coming from a Grade 11 student with a high 90’s overall average, but I truly believe in one thing: school has become a place to learn… how to network. If there’s one thing I’ll take away from high school, it’ll be to learn how to get along with people. You learn that every action has a reaction, and that you’ll need to learn the proper way to react when needed. It’s a life skill, and is not something that is learned overnight.

Let’s make school more interesting, and let’s let our future generations enjoy it more than we have.

I mean, find me one student at any high school that really, truthfully wants to be there all day. I’ve been at my school many times for periods of over 12 hours. And the best part is? You guessed it: coming home after.

Now, while this post wasn’t necessarily backed up by any sorts of factual evidence, I thought it would be interesting for others to gain my perspective.

Here are a few videos that I absolutely recommend whenever someone asks me about education or school, and how it’s going for me.

And this one is from an educator, a TED talk on how schools kill creativity.

 

Nevertheless, I think that school (and education in general) is an invaluable asset to our society. When you see how far we’ve come in the last 100 years (hell, even the last 20), some truly remarkable things have came about that would not have without education.

Some of the smartest people on in the world dropped out of school. Hmmm… makes you wonder.

Thanks for reading, and as always, please share!

Cheers,

Treyton.

P.S. I do plan on going to college/university on day, so no one should really take this to heart. I just want to travel, have a good time, and be with good people before my time is up. Hopefully that gives you something to think about.

I Strongly Dislike School 2016-02-16T03:22:11+00:00

Board of Police Commissioners Speech

For those interested in reading about what I spoke about when I presented in front of the Saskatoon Board of Police Commissioners back in November of 2015. I apologize if there is any spelling or grammatical errors in this piece, it was used as more of a guideline rather than a script. Enjoy!

To a lot of kids my age, going in front of a Board of this magnitude would be gut-wrenching. This opportunity, this chance to speak to all of you today is incredible. So with that, I’ll start off. I’d like to thank everyone here for this opportunity, especially the organizers of Speak Out Saskatoon. My name is Treyton Zary, and I am a student in Grade 11 at Aden Bowman Collegiate. It was last year while I was in grade 10 that my Vice Principal asked me if I wanted to go to this conference. My first question was “What is it?”; I had never heard of Speak Out Saskatoon nor would I realize how much it would open my eyes to what other people of my age experience around our amazing city. There were many topics that came up at Speak Out Saskatoon, quite a few which can be encompassed by one subject: Road Safety.

The first and arguably the most important, is how a good number of us feel when riding the bus. There was a number of incidents brought up where teenagers felt like they were in a dangerous situation while riding a bus downtown. Now, as I don’t take the bus frequently, I cannot speak from experience, but bus drivers are not prepared well enough to handle difficult situations. Collectively, we came to a solution: it would be nice to see patrol and beat officers ride the bus lines around the city more often, especially during peak hours such as after school or after work. Not only would people have a greater feeling of security, but it also helps increase public awareness and appreciation for police officers. Back in 2008, it was estimated that Saskatoon Transit carried approximately 11 million passengers, I can confidently say that increased police presence on the buses would alleviate a lot of fears youth have when riding the bus, especially in key areas of the city.

Next up is cyclist rights. As a regular driver, I only have a limited knowledge of the etiquette of regular cycling in our city. I know that they are to act like a motor vehicle, however it seems like most people do not know that. I have personally seen many cyclists weave in and out of traffic, transforming from a “motor vehicle” to a pedestrian in a matter of seconds. It would be extremely helpful if there was a push to advertise and clarify to experienced drivers and to the cyclist community of Saskatoon what is expected. Also, while talking about cyclists, I know I speak for a great part of Saskatoon when I say that a few extra bike lanes in other neighbourhoods would encourage people to use this alternative method of transportation and feel safer while riding their bike.

A number of teens at Speak Out Saskatoon spoke out about drivers in school zones. People will speed in school zones, and I know for a fact in the last two years that I’ve been at Aden Bowman there have been numerous Pedestrian/vehicle accidents. However, looking down the street towards Ecole Canadienne Francaise, I’ve noticed the incredible impact the Photo Radar has had in slowing down speeders. We believe by implementing more of these Photo Radars (even though they are expensive) that it will greatly impact the safety of all people in Saskatoon.

As police, I can only assume you deal with many parties involving underage drinking. SGI has an app called SGI Safe Ride, which as the title suggests, helps intoxicated people find a safe ride home. This is a great app that should be advertised more. Previously it was advertised, however I have not seen an advertisement for it in years. I know it cannot be marketed to promote underage drinking, but it should be put out there as an option.

One last thing. As the four of us came together a few weeks ago at the police station to start planning for this presentation today, I found it nearly impossible to find a parking spot! Now hold on, let me rephrase that statement… There were many parking spots available, just none that I could pay for with my lone method of payment, my debit card. I bring this up today as I know this applies to almost any teenager trying to get a parking spot downtown. In fact, it would be a huge improvement for everyone if the new parking meters could accept interac/debit card payments. A credit card isn’t always feasible for everyone, and some choose not to carry cash.

Speak Out Saskatoon was an incredible opportunity for young adults to (and forgive my pun here) “speak out”. We talked at great length about issues that we faced as the future leaders of this city, and we got answers to any questions we had. Between bus safety, cyclist rights, school zones and the SGI Safe Ride App, I’ve covered just the tip of the iceberg of what we discussed. I would personally like to thank all of the organizers of the Speak Out Saskatoon event, and for everyone here today for giving me the opportunity to speak.

Board of Police Commissioners Speech 2016-02-07T05:06:12+00:00

White Privilege II – Macklemore & Ryan Lewis ft. Jamila Woods

Regardless of my own personal views on this matter, this song is really powerful. It speaks to our society as a whole, along with the difference between leaders and followers. It’s a little overwhelming at first being 9 minutes long, but it is definitely worth the listen.

White Privilege II – Macklemore & Ryan Lewis ft. Jamila Woods 2016-05-12T03:41:36+00:00