Showing up is first step

Caitlin Lashley

I am writing this hoping that it will find a pair of eyes. I am writing so that perhaps this will make a change in the views of one or two students. I am writing to show my frustration. I am writing to share my disappointment. I am writing about the movie “The Devil Came on Horseback”.

Jan. 27, 2008 was Holocaust Remembrance Day. The community service office, wanting to acknowledge the significance of this day, presented “The Devil Came on Horseback”. This movie is a documentary on the current situation in Darfur in Sudan. As I walked into this event, I assumed that a calm, quiet Sunday evening would allow many people the opportunity to attend an important event such as this one. Turns out I was wrong. More or less, there were about ten students in the room. I could barely contain my aggravation.

Perhaps the saying fits: ignorance is bliss. It can often be hard to acknowledge outside hardship while living on a safe clean beautiful campus at Quinnipiac University. Indeed, living here in ignorance is bliss. Life, for the most part, is easy enough. We attend our classes every day. We come back to do our homework every night. We spend countless hours in the library. We eat three full meals a day. And all the while, there are those off in the distance who cannot even say they ate one meal in peace.

I am not attempting to say we have it easy. We have had our fair share of national tragedy. After all, we are the generation that grew up watching the Twin Towers fall and the continuing War in Iraq.

But regardless of what we have seen, what I continue to see now is a lack of excuses of why we are not doing something about the things that are going on.

A wise psychology professor of mine once told me that perhaps one of the most meaningful acts you can do is to just show up. Showing up in this case is just the first step though. If we don’t, how can we possibly make a difference? Put simply, we cannot.

I am asking, no I am begging, that the students of Quinnipiac University start a new tradition: a tradition of empathy, compassion, and action. Hopefully, a tradition that I can be proud of, a tradition that we can all be proud of. Because if we do not start here while we are young, where does that leave all of us in the future?