It’s funny how much an intangible thing such as time changes us.
For most of us, the first things our parents taught us were simple everyday rules: no hitting, don’t call people names and don’t take what isn’t yours.
These are good baselines for future social interactions. Even as an adult, most of us would say that we agree with these concepts that have been hammered home since as early as kindergarten. It’s easy for each of us to say we already know and follow these rules, but when you take a second, most of us violate at least one of these on a daily basis.
In the United States, 2017 has been a trying year for society. We have dealt with bigotry, hate speech, racism, religious intolerance, sexism and terrorism, both international and domestic. None of these are new evils in human history, but we are no longer children. We are the adults now and we are now faced with the difficult task of deciding how we each will address these problems.
It is easy to participate in the fear and hate, easier still to duck our heads and ignore the problem entirely because it might not directly affect us. Neither is the right choice, though. We could all stand to take some unsolicited advice from author Edmund Burke: “The only thing necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing.”
It’s easy to scapegoat our fears and problems onto a group of people, it’s hard to choose tolerance. Basic human decency that kindergartners can comprehend is a radical concept to some adults.
It is such a beautiful thing to come to college and get to share the space with thousands of people. The Washburn student body and faculty are made up of an astounding mix of races, nationalities, religions, sexual orientations, genders and walks of life.
We don’t have to love or agree with everyone, but what it boils down to is basic respect for your common man. If nowhere else, we have control of our campus’s social climate. Washburn is our home and whether we like it or not, we spend the bulk of our time here. Perpetuating hate and creating a negative environment only divides and poisons our community.
For the sake of our campus community, ask yourself what you wish to leave behind for the younger generation, more negativity and intolerance or the radical decision of peace.