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The Griffin Editorial 11/10

Let’s face it: we need each other. Aristotle once said, “Man is, by nature, a social animal.” It is the opinion of this editor that we have long forgotten this sentiment. As we subconsciously confine ourselves to our social circles and trudge on day by day with life, we lose touch with our fellow humans. It is time we are reminded that we are just little beings existing together in this weird thing called life. None of us asked to be here, but — alas — we are all on this journey together. The little moments of our days remind us that the human experience should be valued more.

Picture this: you’re running late for your class. You’re waiting to cross Main Street, and there’s a fellow student across the street, waiting to do the same. The light is green, and *technically* you shouldn’t cross, but there are absolutely no cars in sight. A slight eye contact and there is nonverbal communication in which you come to an agreement. Seizing this rare opportunity, both of you cross paths, walking very briskly across the street. There’s a shared smile and a light laugh, and you can’t help but think to yourself how pure it is. You have no idea who this stranger is, but it made your day a little brighter. Small instances like this break up the monotony of everyday life. Reminders are all around us, but continuously go unnoticed by most people. Recently, I’ve been really into public art, and I think you should be too. Making art accessible expands its audience, like a mural on the side of a building or a mosaic filling a pothole. Whether it’s a smile with a stranger or a piece of public art, displays of humanity bring light to a broken world.

Another reminder that we’re all on this journey together is that our paths are interconnected. I firmly believe in the butterfly effect: the theory that one seemingly small event can have a huge impact in the future. A smile in passing and a simple hello can have such a big effect on people, and you may never know — but sometimes you will. When an acquaintance strikes up a conversation and mentions how they remember your positive presence in passing, how could you not feel a special appreciation for our collective being?

It seems to me that humans are inherently good. It’s quite pronounced within our very city. After all, we are the “City of Good Neighbors.” Where else would you see neighbors sacrificing the feeling in their hands and faces to shovel snow for their fellow residents? There’s no reason for these people to go out of their way. Nonetheless, we see instances of their selfless actions almost daily. Nothing completely explains it like an innate human good.

Don’t get me wrong: I know it’s hard to break the cycle of weeks that blend together and days that feel like the color beige. Between classes, assignments, clubs, jobs and the like, it takes active effort to ground yourself. I encourage you to take a step back and look at your life through some rose-colored glasses. Being a human is so cool!

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