As I thought about what topic to write about, I wanted to blog about something positive, happy and uplifting. Although many of us are still getting to know each other, I believe most people can see that I am upbeat and positive. I like to joke, engage in other people’s conversations, help myself to food off other people’s plates, participate in the hipster things that the youngsters are doing, and most importantly I strive to treat people how I want to be treated. With this outward appearance it is probably easy to think that I don’t let things bother me, and for the most part that is true. But now that I’m writing down what’s on my mind, I want to express my inner feelings that I find myself guarding others from seeing.
I’m so happy for every student who I come across, and I encourage them to stay positive and stay on the right track that they are on. In a strange way, I feel like I’m living through them and enjoying what life should be at a young age. These are some of the wonderful things that make me happy and keep me staying positive, but herein also lies something that bothers me. So many students, faculty and staff are bright and intelligent, but at times their actions and comments can be hurtful and narrow minded.
As a university we are constantly reminding everyone to respect each other’s rights and to celebrate our differences, yet often we are so engulfed in protecting the rights of those who were oppressed that we end up discriminating against others who are different than us. It’s so easy to jump on the social media highway and cruise on down the road of what we think is right. Right now so many people want to protect the rights of people who have traditionally been oppressed that we end up treating others in similar ways. We are all becoming unreasonable and unwilling to accept the differences that will always exist. We lose sight of the rights of those who are different than us, and those with different opinions. It becomes an “us vs them” and we are losing the sight of any middle ground.
I’ve actually encountered people who have felt guilty for being white because the feel like they don’t fit in. Some extreme activists might believe this is okay because they want them to suffer like their people did, but to me that is as bad, or worse. The oppressed know what it’s like to be hurt, so they should not intentionally hurt others. I want us to be more moderate in our thoughts, to understand that we are all different and that everyone won’t see things the same. Our experiences make us different, and we should collectively work to make things better for everyone and not just those who are like us. We can’t get so tied up in our thoughts and emotions that we end up hurting others.
As part of the adult group that the students learn from, I owe it to them to teach them how to stand up for what is right, but I also owe it to encourage them to consider what they think is right for others. Our world is suffering from division, and we need to become a foundation of what is right and not what is “right for me”. What do you do when you disagree with people in your life on what you think is right?
I would like us to all work on this and this is what will fulfill my inner thoughts and help my inside feelings be as positive as my outward appearance.
The Real J9
Janine Martinez | Office Manager
First Year Success