Life.

At the end of life, community, and relationships, ___.

It’s funny how we take for granted the relationships in our lives. It’s even more amusing if you’re able to look back and see how those relationships were formed in the first place — from the first moment of eye contact, to the awkward hellos and introductions, to the eventual, gradual forming of the relationship. It’s a blessing to be able to review the way our close, meaningful relationships were formed, and to see firsthand its growth and fledging into what is now one of the most important things in your life. Ironically, you realize that the initial awkwardness present in the relationship’s first meeting never really left — and your attempts to get rid of that beginning tension is actually the reason why the friendship is so unique. After all, their quirks and your quirks essentially make up the very fiber of the relationship, the foundation of your inside jokes, and the reason why you come (or learn) to love each other — it’s pointless to try and overcome the nature of who you are, just to save face in front of that person. I mean, really, if the preservation of face becomes the goal of the relationship, you’re really better off making friends with a mirror. And even if you did… wouldn’t you agree that that would be even more awkward than the initial hello’s of an actual relationship?

It weirds me out whenever I observe the dynamics of relationships, but it disheartens me more so when I look at the dynamics of what people identify as “communities.” By definition, we are part of the Pepperdine community because we inhabit and interact within a common area: Pepperdine University. But at the end of everything, it really comes down to who knows who. Sadly, the community becomes all about your affinities with the people you know, and so people only start caring about people they’ve already established a rapport with. But that goes against the dynamics of what makes a community a community. Regardless of who you know, the community seeks out aims that benefit itself, and that includes the people within it. If someone needs help, then somebody should offer the same quality of assistance, regardless of whether or not you know that somebody personally. What benefit will the community get if people are only out there to help those that they know? It won’t subside the fact that there are actually people in need of assistance. Who’s to say that those who decline Samaritan principles won’t be need help themselves? A community, if they wish to be classified as such, should help out the community as a whole, not just a select-few individuals whom there are pre-recognized affiliations.

Way to be mature, and congratulations for misrepresenting the essence of the Pepperdine community and what it’s supposed to stand for.

But maybe these tendencies and fallacies occur because our goals are just in the wrong place. It makes sense that a goal should be at the end of something, but who said that a goal needs to be restricted to the ideas of ‘start’ and ‘finish.’ And who’s to say that the finish is the goal? If we approached other endeavors in this way, such as through music, the goal then would be to finish a composition as fast as possible so that the end is reached. Moreover, if one is feeling efficient, a musician could just play the last note at the end of every song. In our educational system, we go through schooling, college, and eventually go out and join the work force to make something of ourselves… and so, we reach the top, and we feel cheated and led on when we find out that nothing’s there — all that existed in the end was the single note at the end of a beautiful song you never bothered to listen to while on your journey.

Friendships aren’t made for the sake of having friends;

it’s about appreciating the awkwardness of the individual as it interacts with your own.

A community isn’t called as such because we single out and pay attention to select individuals;

It’s about achieving mutual, beneficial, solidarity.

And life… life isn’t about reaching the end;

it’s about singing and dancing along the way.

Maybe it was the loss of love. Maybe it suddenly vanished in the midst of pressure, stress, and outside expectations. But it doesn’t give anyone the right to believe that they are worse off than anyone else, for who are we to compare our hardships? It’s like trying to see who has the deepest scar, or the most malignant tumor… what’s the freaking point? They’re all bad. What should matter is how to get rid of whatever it is that’s hurting us and preventing us from enjoying life’s journey. Who’s really looking forward to the end of life? Doesn’t it make sense to enjoy life as you live it? Therefore, doesn’t it make even more sense to help others live it out? What good will sarcasm and de-constructive criticism do for someone in need of anything? If this is the direction life is pointing to, then life really has become pointless.

Please retire that hammer and gavel…
We’re not even finished with college yet.

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