13 Apr

No, not the T.V. show. 
I’m talking about something else entirely. I don’t think I have the right to pass judgment. Scratch that. I know I do not have the right to pass judgment at all. But this is the Opinion’s section and I have an opinion that I would like to share with everyone.
Disclaimer: if you don’t like derision or cynicism than do not continue reading…because I hope that this article will be full of it. And also I would be remiss if I didn’t acknowledge the fact that this does not describe everyone here at Messiah; only a select few.
I’ve surveyed the student body here at Messiah and there are a few things that have stood out.  
First that integrity seems to have disappeared from this campus. It seems to be gone and I’ve seen it in a few people, but for the most part it left a long time ago I think and here is how I know. When I put on a Dining Services T-shirt, my jeans and a black hat, I become invisible. And when you’re invisible, you see things, pick up on aspects that usually go unnoticed.
A couple of weeks goes by, working in Lottie, and then you see that integrity of people is lost. Students steal cakes, take plates and utensils, as if it’s their right to take. A student will drop their plate of salad, and salad dressing is everywhere. But they simply leave it there, they don’t even tell a nearby worker to perhaps let them know they’ve created a mess.
Secondly if something isn’t easy and accessible, then it’s not worth the trouble. I recently talked to a friend who has traveled to Haiti multiple times and she has noticed that they are thankful for everything. They walk over an hour for water. God is that much bigger there, because God is actually depended upon. Here everything is at our fingertips. We hardly even use books anymore, we’ve got High Speed internet. Students complain if extra effort needs to be exerted.
Here though, we leave the lights on in a room where no one is sitting. Here we leave the tap running longer than it needs to be because running water is something that we’ve grown up with, it’s always been there and it’s easily accessed. Right?
I’ll give you another example and its little, you might think I’m being over critical, but sometimes being over critical is what is needed. The Gluten Free Fridge, with the Lactaid and Silk, is literally three steps from the garbage can. But when something empty, it’s simply left in the fridge. Am I being anal? Is it something that doesn’t bother other people? I could be wrong, but my mother taught me to throw something out when I’m finished with it. How about your mom? Also, who leaves their tray on the table for a worker to come and pick it up?
I guess some students forget how to clean up after themselves to. I understand, school is stressful, you’ve got papers, and you’re stressed out about loans and lack of sleep. But it takes only little bit more effort to take your oh-so-heavy tray to the accumulator (the dish return).
Ok, moving on. Thirdly, if there aren’t multiple options; you’re being cheated. I’ll give you another example. Its Saturday morning breakfast and I’ve been working for oh say an hour or so and its 7:00am, there are bagels, a small pancake bar with toppings, the omelet bar, the yogurt bar and pastries. A student walks over to me and asks me “Where is breakfast?”
Listen I know you were blessed and you’re paying for a meal plan, you have a right to food I guess. I guess I just expect a small degree of thankfulness that there actually is food. Also, the general consensus seems to be that Lottie has less-than-to-be-desired-food. The same thing here; I just expect there to be certain degree of thankfulness that there is food to complain about.
 In some countries to have the opportunity to complain is a luxury. That shouldn’t just only be in those countries, it should be everywhere, and the entire world should consider the ability to complain a luxury. Just saying.
Fourthly, there are rules that need to be adhered to, but if we’re not willing to bend them for the exception (and everyone thinks they are the exception) than we’re the bad guy. We’re the inconsiderate one who has no heart. 
Here’s another example, not too long ago a young man came into Lottie, he forgot his card and asked the cashier to type in his ID number. She refused because students are supposed to carry their ID cards, and the process becomes that much longer. Well let me tell you. Names and angry words came flying out of that young man’s mouth as if it was his job to cut down her self-esteem.  She was silent the entire time.
Am I wrong to hold the students here at Messiah to a higher standard? Or am I expecting too much? I don’t think I am.
In my opinion, we’re all lost. Me included. I constantly pray each day I work, for my patience level and to simply love the students who come into Lottie. But I’m human and sometimes I fail and I end up despising them instead.  I’ll admit it, that most of the time I’m smiling, but when I’m in Lottie, the smile seems to disappear because I’m bracing myself for disappointment.
Maybe I’m just hard to impress. Maybe my standards are just too high, or maybe someone else’s standards are just too low. Either way there is a disconnection.
I’ll end with a quote. I once talked with a wise lady who said this “The earth is what God gave us, and the world-the way it is now-is what we’ve created it to be.” What does that mean? Just because we’re blessed with a cafeteria, a wonderful campus and education, it does not mean that we have the right to abuse those blessings.
That’s what integrity is, treating everything with a high degree of respect and thankfulness, everything. That means, you’re not singing praises, thanking God for everything in your life with your mouth and then your actions speak otherwise and your thoughts aren’t even spoken out loud because they are a far cry from what’s coming out of your mouth.
And that’s why I know we’ve lost integrity because the words I hear are wonderful, they make me smile. But the actions, they make me depressed and the smile on my face disappears.
There I’ve written what has been on my heart for the past couple of months and it feels good to put it down on paper. 
Thank you for reading my rantings.

One Response to “LOST. PERDU. PERDIDO. 失去”

  1. Sarah Busenitz April 16, 2011 at 8:38 pm #

    Dearest friend, I am proud of you for writing such an honest and truly real post. I appreciated your observations, and non-sugar-coated conclusions. Realizations and discoveries such as these are what drive and renew me in my efforts to uphold the high standard you write of. I love you friend for your sensitivity and passion for God and humanity.

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