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Last sync:2022-11-15 18:00
In which Hank talks about how weird life is, what value we really bring to the world, and why you should say "I Love You" today.

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A Bunny
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Crowd: Good morning, John. Whooo!

Hank: Happy Esther Day, John. I love you. Sometimes I don't understand life, and sometimes I don't understand my life particularly. Like the part where the Olympic gymnast flashed the Nerdfighter sign to millions of people, or the part where Kimya Dawson purchased a Nerdfighter shirt from me, actually, without me even knowing, I would have given it to her. Or the part where I dove off of a stage into a crowd of people.

Hank (to Kimya): I don't understand my life, Kimya.
Kimya: I don't understand mine, either.

Hank: Probably that's a pretty universal thing. I don't think we really understand our lives very well. John, when I watched your last video, the top comment had 93 thumbs up, and this is what it said: 'While watching gymnastics with my mom all I could think is "What am I doing with my life? These girls are just about the same age as me, and they are doing something with their lives. They're in the freaking Olympics." and the feeling sucks.'

But here's the thing. Gymnastics scoring, or even the appreciation of Gymnastics isn't a universal thing. The Olympics has value because we come together as individuals and give it values. Like if shot-put weren't a thing and people weren't watching and didn't give it value, it'd just be a guy out in a field with a rock. 'Guys, I'm going to throw this rock really far and just PHH!' He'd throw the rock, 'I threw the rock farther than anybody ever threw the rock, whee!' He'd just be a crazy person.

When people say "I'm not doing anything with my life", what I hear is, "I'm not doing anything of value with my life." But when I think of the value that I appreciate and the value that I create, even though I am a guy who is literally and figuratively on a stage pretty often, what matters to me most is how much I love people and how much the people I love love me. And here's a shocker, Jennifer Pinches, Nerdfighter gymnast extraordinaire, and Kyle Ross and McKayla Maroney, those people? They wanna compete, they wanna get gold, they wanna be in the Olympics, they wanna test themselves, they wanna beat their bests, but most of all, they want the exact same thing as all of us, which is to be loved by the people that they love. That's number one, and I know that's number one for them because they're people and it's number one for all people.

And that's why, this week, when I read that comment, Esther's message hit home harder than ever. If you don't know anything about this, Esther Earl was a Nerdfighter who we met back in 2009 at the first LeakyCon. She and her friends had been and continue to be very important to the project of Nerdfighteria, and at that point Esther had been living with cancer for a long time. When Esther was really sick, John told her that we wanted to celebrate her birthday every year for as long as the vlogbrothers channel existed, and he wanted to know how she wanted us to celebrate it, and she took her time telling us, it took like two weeks, and she finally got back to us, and she told John that she wanted it to be a day where we celebrated love between family members and friends, not like Valentine's Day, where we celebrate romantic love, but a time where we go out and make an effort to say 'I love you' to the people who we're maybe a little bit uncomfortable saying 'I love you' to.

To the 93 people that upvoted that comment and to everybody else who feels this way, remember that the value that you bring to the world largely comes with what you love. And who loves you. And that's not an Olympic sport, but this Esther Day, today, you get a gold medal in love if you can say 'I love you' to some people who you don't usually say it to. Don't take other peoples' love for granted and don't assume they know how you feel. If you need a little bit of help with that, Nerdfighter Joviana made some amazing Esthertines, they're Nerdfighter themed, um, but they work for anybody. Best delivered by hand with a note on the back telling people why you love them. I'm gonna go give Katherine hers right now.

Thank you to Nerdfighteria for spreading these ideas for making the world suck less, for making the world more awesome, and for making the world a little bit weirder. John, I'll see you on Tuesday.