On Tuesday, I sat down ready to write a cute little introductory editorial for my first column as editor-in-chief of the Record.
It was going to be full of light-hearted and witty quotes about my summer and the beginning of my last semester on campus, about how much I love GC and how fun of an editor I’m planning on being.
It was going to be a really fantastic, ground-breaking, state-of-the-art editorial, obviously. And all about me.
But then I opened Facebook and saw the headline: “Trump moves to end DACA and calls on Congress to act.”
What am I going to put in the Record, I thought. And then, My first thought is about my school job?!
When I woke up in Perú on Nov. 9, 2016, my host family asked why I couldn’t stop crying at breakfast. Tengo miedo, I said. Estarás bien, they said. They were right. They’re still right. This isn’t about me.
But this is about my community.
In my Mediation class on Tuesday afternoon, our discussion centered on listening. How do we listen to the stories of others? How do we hold them with integrity and compassion?
Everyone has a primal desire to feel heard but, unfortunately, we are human and we fail at this with each other every day.
What I’m coming to realize is that how I respond is less important than how I listen. How I carry the stories of my friends, my family and my community becomes part of how the wider global community interacts as a whole.
As Elizabeth Gilbert (I love Eat, Pray, Love, sue me) wrote, “The health of the planet is affected by the health of every individual on it. As long as even two souls are locked in conflict, the whole of the world is contaminated by it… Similarly, if even one or two souls can be free from discord, this will increase the general health of the whole world.”
Call me a compassionate peacemaker, but I whole-heartedly believe this.
I also believe that doing a better job of listening is one step towards restoring relationships between individual people, which contributes to the well-being of our communities and by extension, the world.
So, to my Goshen College community: I promise to listen better. I promise to not make this paper about me writing editorials that move the world, and more about the Record having the power to amplify all voices on campus.
I promise to carry all of your stories with care. Welcome back!