Ah, March. In like a lion, out like a lamb. It signifies the beginning of spring, the rebirth of flowers and the unfortunate commencement of the yellow haze of pollen. However, for your fearless and peerless correspondent Doolino, March signifies a pensive time. With spring break right around the corner, I wanted to reflect on the time we have shared so far. I have seen many things in my time here at Emory and have learned just as much in the process. So, as this next month progresses, let me share a letter to get you through midterms.
Dear Loyal (and disloyal) Readers,
In the epically beautiful words of the great Andrea Bocelli, it’s “Time To Say Goodbye” to the month of February. Over the years, I have manifested myself corporeally in many forms across campus and seen many things, and these skeletal sentences are my latest and fondest forms of expressions. As the weather starts getting warm, I want to march forward and instill in you some of the best advice I have been given. Enjoy, and remember that presidents come and go, but if you don’t elect Donald Trump, we’ll never have to wait for him to be gone.
Live life not in the pursuit of happiness, but happiness in the pursuit
I’m sure you’re all familiar with this oft-quoted line from the Declaration of Independence: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” Well, I’d have to say that, 200-some-odd years later, our founding fathers missed a part. A very wise friend of mine told me, upon reflecting back on his life so far, that we should seek to find “happiness in the pursuit” instead of the pursuit of happiness.
The word “pursuit” can be traced back to the Old French word porsuir, whose definition is not only “to seek,” but also “to continue,” “to claim” and “to possess” and all of these definitions are evident in our search for purpose in life. Pursuit is evident even in Emory’s motto, “cor prudentis possidebit scientiam,” or “The wise heart seeks knowledge.” Each and every day, pursuit manifests itself as we both symbolically and literally take the steps to continue on into the next stage of our lives. Pursuit is within us as we have claimed our ambitions, affiliations and affectations that comprise our identity and it is evident in the passions we all possess.
Eat good food, drink good wine and meet good people
Whether you realize it or not, food is one thing with which we interact every day. Not only is it a major source of energy and nutrients for us, but it’s also a means of social and cultural interaction and communication and, for the most part, tastes pretty damn good. Life’s too short to eat things that don’t taste good. As a corollary, life’s too short to drink shitty alcohol. If you are 21, there is literally no excuse for you to be drinking anything that rhymes with “Hurnett’s,” “Catural Flight” or “Grader Bro’s Few Chuck Buck.” Our body deserves to be treated with respect and the aforementioned beverages that are only a step above toilet water are a waste of time, money and alcohol.
Above all else, spend time with good people. The beauty of human interactions is that we can limit our time with those whom we don’t want to spend time and maximize our time with those whom we do. Life is so much happier when spent around people who make you happy and, to tie into my earlier point, the pursuit of good people to spend time with makes you happy and even happier once you’ve found them.
Never stop thirsting for more knowledge
Education is a never ending process and it certainly does not cease after students walk across the commencement stage. There is always new knowledge to attain, new doors to open, new worlds to explore. This can manifest itself in many different ways. First and foremost, it is my dream that more people understand how journalism and the media work and how they can interact with it to a) get the right information and b) be a part of it. The opinions page is a powerful tool and not many know how to wield it, let alone wield it well. In the world of “publications” like The Odyssey and The Tab, good, honest journalism is under attack. Ask questions, trust nothing and always get more sources.
Additionally, always challenge your own personal views. If you get through life without being offended or confused about an idea you have, then you have wasted your space on this Earth. The corollary to thirsting for more knowledge is always replenishing the knowledge that you do have. For generations, people thought the world was flat, nothing existed outside of Europe and the best way to cure sickness was to bleed the patient to death. Yet challenging our own commonly-held beliefs is the key to progress and happiness in society.
Until the next time our paths meet — and thank you for the stories, the struggles and the serious laughs,