How leaders behave: a response

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Thomas Spring, Contributing Writer

 

A contributing writer wrote (in the Nov. 6 University News) that she was awakened in the early morning by “idiotic giggles and shouts of drunken students” paired with “a repeated crashing and pounding.” The source of this noise, the writer found, was a group of students on Old Mill’s Circus destroying a toy car. In the article, she wrote that these students’ actions devastated three young Hispanic boys who had found joy in this broken toy car through the efficacy of their imagination.

A dumpster in Old Mill goes up in flames on Friday Night, an example of action that should not be condoned but does not indict its perpetrators as “souls who do not care for the ‘pursuit of wisdom, truth and virtue.'”

What this writer did not realize was that the beginnings of this toy car’s destruction came through the young boys’ imagination. (Video evidence of this can be found on YouTube.) The boys did not break and beat this car out of malice, but rather with the same pleasure a small child gets when he knocks over a tower of wooden blocks he has just finished constructing. After the boys got all the joy they could out of battling this car (a windmill to them perhaps), they gently rolled it over to the nearest dumpster and laid it to rest; their play was finished. It was only after this that a group of “drunken students” (which in itself is an unfounded claim) took the cadaver from the trash and began to beat the dead horse.

The inaccuracy of the previous article is not the main issue. The problem I find in the contributing writer’s article is its lack of faith in the University of Dallas student body. There are those here who break university property, walk into class a few minutes late, smoke by building entrances (out of convenience), use obscene language and set fire to dumpsters. These actions must not be condoned. However, they are far from acts that would indict those who do them as souls who do not care for the “pursuit of wisdom, truth and virtue.” These actions are nothing more than signs of immaturity, signs of young men and women who are still growing up, still trying to find themselves.

While these actions should not be sanctioned and celebrated, we should focus more on the good works done by those in our community on a regular basis, when they are “inebriate of joy” instead of alcohol. We attend a university with students who speak courteously to their elders, hold doors for one another, faithfully attend Mass each Sunday, respect Woman as “Guardian of Man’s God” rather than objectify Her, and go in large groups each Saturday morning to pray for those who have no voice to cry out against suffering: the unborn.

We should not glorify immature behavior. But we should be more careful not to relegate young men and women who are diligently trying to study the Mysteries of our world and occasionally slip into ignorant actions to the stuff of nightmares. What started as a lament for the loss of a child’s plaything quickly became an assault on the behavior of UD’s student body. A contributing writer must not be so rash, especially when the heart of that writer’s article is founded on a false and unproven conjecture.

We attend school with adolescents who are “leaders able to act responsibly for their own good and for the good of their family, community, country, and church.” Sometimes, though, we lose ourselves in a pathless wood and descend to the lowest levels of hell before we can even hope to participate in any manifestation of the Beatific vision. There is no place better to climb out of the pits of immaturity and ignorance than our beloved university, and no better people to climb with than its students. “You can read out of [this] whatever pleases your youth and confidence; to me, this is all.”

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