The holiday season has come to an end; for many people, it was a filled with days spent decorating houses, catching up with friends and family, and going to the mall to return hideous sweaters. But for those of us in our twenties, part of your holiday may have been spent pouring an extra shot into our egg nog in preparation for the inevitable barrage of questions about our romantic relationships (or lack thereof.) My 85 year old grandmother, for instance, has started a fabulous holiday tradition where she watches football with me and points to the NFL players she thinks I should be dating.
Love: it sounds so simple, but is actually quite complex. People often describe a felt sense of the experience of love, as in “I feel so loved,” or the longing for “unconditional love.” Love is not something we can measure, hear, observe or hold, but we believe in it.
There are many different kinds of love:
I’m on campus a lot. With classes and all the meetings that come along with clubs and responsibilities, I’ve got my fair share of walking to do. My legs are lucky as our campus is fairly small, but every day I can’t help but notice that there are so many who walk with their heads down. With the eyes of my peers cast away from others, basic human connection is easily averted. This troubles me.
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I began to bother when things started to bother me. I was sitting in philosophy class one semester a few years ago and began to see the world as a place filled with so many problems that I grew up unaware of. I was completely blind to so many systems and structures that effect our human experience. The human experience that I had little control over, profoundly impacted my perceptions and perpetuated my lack of understanding, just, as I assume, it does for everyone.
AVODAH: The Jewish Service Corps, asked some of its participants and staff how they respond to the question of “Why Bother?” This is what they had to say:
In his essay, “Why Bother,” author Michael Pollan wrestles with the factors that motivate us to take action. He shares his sense of despair after watching Al Gore’s film An Inconvenient Truth when considering the “disproportion between the magnitude of the problem Gore had described and the puniness of what he was asking us to do about it.” In this case, the question “why bother?” seems rhetorical since it can be hard to find motivation if you have little hope of having an impact.
As many know, there have been protests nationwide voiceing outrage at a grand jury's decsision not to indict the New York Police Department officer who choked Eric Garner to death. Garner was Black, the officer was white, and this non-indictment came a week after the decision of a grand jury in Missouri not to indict Darren Wilson, the white officer who shot and killed Michael Brown, an 18 year-old who had been unarmed.