Core Decorum: Comfort and stability

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Illustration courtesy of Cecilia Lang

Broadcast after broadcast follows the situation in Ukraine, and it seems like wherever I go on social media I’m haunted by news reports of increasing casualties. In this time, I’ve become more aware than ever of how sheltered life for us as college students truly is. 

If there’s one thing UD is good at, it’s providing a safe and comfortable environment for students to live and grow in. Mentally, we’re surrounded by individuals that care for our opinions and are willing to listen when we talk. Physically, we have a team dedicated to keeping us safe from harm. 

I don’t usually think about how lucky I am to live here. College creates a bubble, especially living on campus without a car. It’s not often that I get off-campus, and when I do it’s usually only for the weekend. 

I feel a disconnect when I hear about world events, as if they’re happening in another universe. How is it that we can live in an environment of safety and stability, while across the world families are evacuating their homes?

Most of us have never experienced what’s happening on the news right now. I’ve never been in a war. The US hasn’t been invaded and bombed. I’ve never had to evacuate my home and try to find shelter. 

The only wars I’ve ever seen are the ones on TV, and even that is nothing compared to what it must feel like for those experiencing it in real life. Many of these experiences are unimaginable to us as both Americans and college students. Most of our worries consist of what assignments are due at the end of the week, not whether our city will still be standing at the end of the day.

We have the choice to step back from what is happening around the world. If the news gets too graphic or disheartening, we can close the app we’re watching it on and head to class. Our social media feeds are glimpses into an environment far different from ours, and where we have the ability to look away, other people are living these lives. 

So, what does this mean for us? Are these just lives on a screen that we can watch on a whim? News articles to read and then forget about as we go about our daily lives? 

It’s not wrong to live sheltered lives. We have been blessed to live in a country that values freedom and a college that values independence — opportunities that many people will never experience. It becomes wrong when we fail to educate ourselves on the lives of others and choose to dismiss events that we feel are outside of our control. 

It’s not enough for us to simply sit back as events play out across the world. By being in a position of security and stability, it’s our responsibility to educate ourselves on what is happening outside of our own lives, and to contribute what we can to those in need.

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