one semester of college done.. one semester of new experiences, new friends, and new values.. to me, this semester has taught me a lot.. about myself, about how people view others, and how our society and culture reflects and modifies the aforementioned..
what has probably struck me the hardest this semester has become the most profound lesson i’ve learned so far.. it’s really difficult to put into words, and it doesn’t help that i don’t really know what it is distinctively in the first place.. it could be because it manifests itself into many things through many mediums, filtered through many interpretations.. but it really boils down to really how we view and treat others.. to know what we can and can’t do, what we can and can’t say, what can be justified and what can’t, what we ought to hold steadfast to, and what can be compromised for the pursuit of wisdom and experience..
this semester, i realized just how judgmental we can be.. it’s insane how we habitually sum somebody up so superficially without any background information or substantial accurate knowledge of what they do or what they’re involved in.. moreover, we use those baseless interpretations to conjecture what that individual’s priorities, values, beliefs, and habits are.. i’ve met so many different kinds of people who have different morals and character, i’ve been exposed to so many different environments and situations, and they have influenced my standpoints significantly..
so what if i’m a different person? so what if i changed? isn’t that what college does? and isn’t the polarity of the change subjective? couldn’t the manner in which the person has changed be interpreted two totally different ways by two totally different cliques? isn’t it possible that a person could fit into two vastly different groups of people and still be accepted equally by both? the answer is conditional: yes, but only if love is present.
that is the biggest lesson i’ve learned.. to love other people.. that’s all it comes down to. differing religions and societies can have different dogmas, doctrines, styles of living, etc., but within each cultural subgroup they are connected to each other because of a common string of love that weaves through similar beliefs and interests.. however it takes a profound, culture-transcendent love to interconnect them, so that there is a compassion to love despite the differences, a passion to forget the manner of the change or of the people and love them simply because we all desire to have some sort of constancy in our lives among the inevitable life fluctuations caused by college living.
people change.. we all change.. yet our ability to love, and our desire to be loved remains the same, and demands constancy in these times.. if a friend seeks to have a loved one repent and revert back to their values of origin that sparked the initial influence in the relationship, one simply has to love and accept who they are and what they’re doing. if a friend is disappointed by another’s change, that friend simply needs to never falter or change their love towards that person, lest they be lost forever in the ‘new’ territory — hesitant to return, too far to turn back. that friend needs to realize that deep down their inner core hasn’t changed, their true color unfaded; through a constant stream of love, values and actions that don’t correspond to their inner ‘moral fiber’ will eventually wash away and be drowned like the many current fads we’ve all been sucked into once in our lives
the shock of change causes people to fall victim to an assumptive fallacy, where they think that the alteration is permanent… and this is far from true.. negative change, if not countered with a genuine, constant love, will make the individual deter positive overrides that would have been taken had there been love and not baseless judgment without regard of or attempt to understand the underlying reasons. in truth, it is the obligation of the individual to bring their self back to his/her senses, and not the job of others (regardless of their good intention). the job of the others is to simply treat them like a “loved one…”
Did the father beat and punish his prodigal son upon his return… or did he embrace him? Did he send servants out to search for him and bring him back forcefully… or did he simply wait until the son came to his senses and come back voluntarily in full repentance? who was left unhappy? -> was it not the other, judgmental son who attempted to curry favor, who felt it justified to withhold blessing from the returning son despite his already forgiven actions?
people deserve to be loved and embraced, regardless of what they believed in, believe in, and/or what they NOW believe in.. there should be no difference in the way we treat our friends between “the good ol’ days of high school” versus “now.” college has shown me a bigger, grander perspective, which paradoxically teaches something completely simple and minute: “to love despite ___.”
Constant, sincere, unadulterated love can elicit and reverse change. But it needs to be those things.
So despite change, despite difference, despite iniquity, despite character… love anyway.