Aug. 16, 2017
How? Why? I don’t get it. I simply don’t get it and there is nothing anyone could ever tell me to make me understand. How could anyone have blind, vicious hatred for groups of people just because they’re different? Why? I cannot wrap my head around it. Life itself is both a challenge and a gift. Why would anyone waste it on hatred?
I suppose much of it is rooted in ignorance and inexperience. I am extremely fortunate that I have traveled this country and all over this world. And guess what? People are just people. No matter the color of their skin, the religion they practice, the language they speak, the clothes they wear or the size of their home, they are not that different from you or me.
They fall in love, adore their children, work hard, worry about things, have great joys and suffer horrible tragedies. They rejoice when a new life is born and weep in anguish when a loved one is lost. They make mistakes and achieve great success. They struggle, laugh, learn and cry. The specifics of their lives might be very different, but inside, we are really all the same. We’re all just trying to make the best of the lives we’ve been given. Hating others is as far from living our best lives as we can get.
I’m also fortunate to be a Spartan. The Spartan nation – half a million strong – is wildly diverse. We come from across this country and around the globe. Our patchwork is made of every color you can imagine and we know that our differences are our strength. Spartans welcome fresh ideas, different views and new experiences because we know that solving the world’s most challenging problems will take as many different kinds of Spartans we can find. We also know that learning as much as we can about other cultures and people is an important part of everyone’s education.
Taran Silva, a third-year student in the College of Osteopathic Medicine, learned the value of experiencing a different culture while providing health care in Guatemala with the college. It was there that he gained an understanding for the importance of cultural competence. Read his STUDENT VIEW: The second time was a charm, to learn how his experience gave him deeper appreciation for diversity and how it will help him be a better physician.
Shannon Schmoll, the director of the Abrams Planetarium believes astronomy has the potential to connect everyone. She particularly thinks a big event, like next week’s solar eclipse, might help us understand each other better. Check out her FACULTY VOICE: The Great American Eclipse, to learn more about her thoughts and some great tips on viewing the eclipse.
There are so many opportunities to broaden your horizons when you’re a Spartan. And it doesn’t stop at graduation. Spartans never stop learning and listening. We never stop teaching and helping others. Spartans never stop searching for solutions or standing up for what’s right. Instead of lashing out, Spartans offer a hand up. We respect differences and believe in freedom, justice and opportunity for all. There simply is no room for hatred in the Spartan nation. Our big, colorful, beautiful, diverse, dedicated, bold, compassionate #TeamMSU will never give up in the quest for better tomorrows for all. Spartans Will.
Photo by Jordan Noble