|Written by Jes Scheinpflug, Columnist|
|Wednesday, 12 November 2008 18:00|
Each week I struggle to come up with a topic for this. Since I am not a journalism major or English major, my outlook on topics is slightly different. I am a social work major and I realized I can use my column to talk about social issues or injustices.
I can talk about how everyone has self-determination, that we live in a beautiful world and that everyone should be empathetic.
All of these views I have are based on the fact that I want to become a social worker. Or maybe I want to become a social worker because I have these views.
With that comes the idea that it is not "our way of life against theirs" as discussed in my first column. I truly believe that each person is justified in each action he or she chooses.
I am prepared to speak to someone who is a child molester or murderer with the view that he or she is the victim and would like help with some part of life. Everyone has problems, everyone suffers and everyone has feelings. Making judgments about them does not do me any good. I just want every person to truly be happy. I never really thought it was that much to ask for.
I enjoy giving people that benefit of the doubt. I know I have chosen the right major for me and that these beliefs will stick with me my whole life.
Sadly, I have heard more than once that I only think like this because I am in college or that the college community is more open-minded because it is not "real life." Unfortunately, I agree that on a whole, college students seem to be more open-minded than graduates and older adults, however, there are open-minded adults.
No matter what anybody thinks (Republican, Democratic, religious, anything) there are many people who can respect and try to understand the other point of view.
However, there aren't enough people like this. The saddest part about hearing such disheartening comments about how "real life" is not as open-minded as college is that it comes from close-minded people. It does not matter how young or old, being open-minded is a choice that everyone has, college life, "real life," whatever title you choose to give your life or lifestyle.
The strangest part of this for me is that I think I came to think like this through a series of difficulties and depression.
Without putting blame on anybody besides myself, I was never satisfied with what I had. I refused to obey rules and I made numerous choices that I later deemed as stupid. From small punishments such as detentions and suspensions in school to larger punishments, I took a wrong turn for some unknown reason.
One afternoon when I was a freshman in high school, I finally decided that I had enough. I was not happy with my family life, or lack there of, and that is all that I can remember from that day.
During my lunch period, I went to the school library and took 32 Tylenol. I'm still not quite sure if I really did want to die, but I just felt numb. The next day I must have thrown up at least thirty times. I gave a new definition to dry-heaving.
The rest of that year and the next couple years are a blur, but one day I realized I was not living up to my potential. I stopped purposely breaking rules and I stopped using my body in ways I really did not want to. It was like somebody turned on the light switch inside of my heart and I was more than alive. I was me.
There is no way that I can explain to you the person I was or why. If you found an acquaintance from my childhood, they would tell you that I am a bully, tomboy and a slut.
If you ask someone from college what he or she thinks of me, you'd get different responses. I volunteer, study a lot and never miss class, so some would call me a goody-goody. I also am known to enjoy partying so I have been called an alcoholic and a pothead.
It does not matter how many stories I share from my past, I've had my ups and downs. There is no way to make a valid judgment of me based on my columns but let me tell you who I am.
I am Jes. I believe in altruism and generosity. I like to have a good time without the use of substances. I sometimes make judgments, but remain open-minded. I hope everyone else is the same and I don't think it should be too much to expect.