In most ways, Noah Van Vooren is just like any high school student. He plays on the football team and loves it, he has lots of friends, and he has been waiting anxiously for a letter of acceptance or rejection from the college he applied to. The only thing that is different about this young man is his Down syndrome, but it's clear that he isn't letting it get in the way of his hopes and dreams for the future.
When Noah opens the letter from the college, his father quickly asks if Noah wants him to read it—Noah’s reaction is quick and just like any teenager’s—“No!” Once the letter is ripped open and the verdict known, a resounding yes, Noah rejoices with a level of enthusiasm and joy that most of us could only hope to achieve.
So what stops us from really living in the moment? Why do we allow ourselves only a brief time of rejoicing when we have achieved something important, even if it is something we’ve been working towards for months or years? For most of us, it's because we allow the pressures of daily life to overwhelm us. When I received my own acceptance into a graduate school program recently, I shrieked a little, told my fiancé, then headed right back to work and home life. It was needed, I thought. But then again, perhaps I should have taken a few extra moments to enjoy my success and screamed and danced with the same wild abandon as Noah did. Certainly, it would have been appropriate.
So congratulations to Noah and others like him. People who recognize their amazing accomplishment and celebrate it are really getting the most out of life. We need more people who are willing to celebrate and live life to the fullest.