Goshen College students recognize that many things are wrong. People look out into the world and see all of the bad that has happened in the past while.What do we do about it? Complain. As a person who participates daily – if not even more frequently – in the world of grumbling, I’m sick of it.
Really what prompted me to think about this was the Study-Service Term meeting that I recently attended.
During our exciting three hour meeting about Nicaragua, we were given the following exercise: come up with five positive things about the United States or U.S. citizens.
Since all of us around the table have been living in the United States for quite some time, this shouldn’t be too difficult right? Of course not. The positive aspects we thought of usually were tongue-in-cheek. For example: freedom. Something I think none of us think of on a daily basis.
The next exercise was much easier and took much less time: think of three negatives of Americans.
These came quickly: fat, noisy, world police. Why was this so much easier?
Obviously this isn’t the only example, but I know that I complain about more than my fair share. Right now it seems that everything is going wrong, and that there is much to complain about – world economic crisis, North Korea launching a satellite, global warming, snow in April.
But does that mean that there is not good in our world? Of course not.
I’m not asking for the complaining to stop. Questioning things can lead to activism, which is a great thing. People need to ask the “why” question to try to get answers.
But at the same time, all of this criticizing has left us feeling horrible. There needs to be a balance of good things with bad. There are good things going on in our world that just don’t get media coverage. Positive stories don’t draw the ratings that stories that monger fear do.
In conclusion, I’m urging everyone – including myself – to look for the good in the world. Not only will it make our lives much more fulfilling, but it will make Study-Service Term meetings easier and shorter.
Jonathan Stuckey is a junior business information systems major from West Unity, Ohio.