A call to love at an oft-cynical campus

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Matthew deGrood, Contributing Writer

 

“Why are University of Dallas students so afraid to feel?” asked Dr. Crider in a recent Shakespeare class. Never have I heard a truer question. For, at a university that so prides itself on logic and rationality, students all too frequently forget what ultimately unites us. They forget the most important reason they wake up every morning and do what they do – love. I mean love not so much in the romantic sense (though that is certainly included), but in a grander sense: love of friends and family, love of art, love of God – love of your discipline! I am an English major because, try as I might to avoid it, I am madly in love with literature.
In an ideal world, all human action is subservient to love. For “whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.” As Dr. Maurer so aptly explained in his essay on Robert Frost, “Now, love is a greater, more nearly divine thing than poetry. As any real poet knows, poetry is only love’s servant.”
Quite frankly, I tire of the ardent cynicism on this campus. All too frequently, I notice someone express interest in something (whether it be a work of literature, a piece of music, etc.) only to be immediately denigrated by a mob of his peers. This is not conducive to an environment that fosters love. Reality molds itself to what we think. “A cynic,” said Ralph Waldo Emerson, “can chill and dishearten with a single word.” Passion, however, energizes our thoughts and our actions. We should encourage each other to pursue our passions – whether it be Dickens or, God forbid, Austen.
Rather than bicker about our differences, we should rejoice and be thankful for them; they are what makes our world such a joy. Some poor souls at this school actually choose to be math and science majors – take Amanda Bilko, for example! While I personally don’t understand this madness, I applaud them for their choices. We need future chemists, doctors, physicists and professors. If only our discussions focused upon our different and varied passions, we would live in a much better world.
So, I invite everyone to ask this question of himself: Why am I studying the thing I am studying? Reflect upon your passions and try to be mindful of them as you attend classes and work on assignments. I know you’ll find that taking this perspective will result in making you not only a happier student, but a better, more well-balanced student. Furthermore, the next time someone close to you proclaims his love for Milton, resist the urge to disparage him. Instead, ask him why he loves Milton. For it is this sort of dialogue that will benefit not only your friend, but perhaps yourself as well.
Because, as Daniel Orazio likes to say (quoting Justin Foard), “I love love.”

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