November 8, 2012

The Importance of Spreading Love

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I spent the last week living in Catherwood Library. I’m not bragging, I’m not trying to get your sympathy, and I certainly don’t want to compare library horror stories. The chances are that you would beat me, especially if you are an engineer like many of my friends. But this isn’t about studying, this is about you.These are gloomy times on the Cornell campus, sandwiched between prelims, papers and the distant Thanksgiving holiday. The weather certainly doesn’t help either. Walking around campus, I feel the gloom in the air surrounding everyone. In the past week, I have had more philosophical conversations with both friends and strangers than I could have imagined, and they all come back to the same sense of uncertainty. First it is about school and classes, then about social issues and finally about our own selves.I can’t do anything about your classes, nor would you want my help, but I might be able to brighten your day a little bit. Remember just this one thing: You are loved.People in this world genuinely love you because of who you are. They love everything that makes you unique, whether it is your outspoken personality, your crooked smile, your body structure, the color of your hair, your nerdy jokes or whatever you are self conscious about. These are your true friends who accept everything about you, both the good and not as good, but still love you.These people know you the best and they STILL accept you. Sure, you might drive them crazy every once in awhile, but you always make up and continue being friends. At the end of the day, if I asked your friends to describe you, I would probably hear something like “kind, loving, caring, smart, fun, understanding, intuitive,” and many more adjectives than I can name. These people know how great you really are.I will not lie to you, there will be people who hate your guts. Others might just not appreciate how unique you are. These people might make you feel like you are not good enough, but that cannot be further from the truth. A wise man (my grandfather) once told me that if everyone likes you, then you are doing something wrong. You are sacrificing what makes you special in favor of being accepted by the masses. I believe that if everyone likes you, then no one can love you.A friend recently told me that, “Those who mind don’t matter and those that matter don’t mind.” Some people attribute a variation of this quote to Dr. Seuss, others to one of FDR’s advisors. Either way, I don’t think I have ever heard anything more accurate. Worrying about those who dislike you is a waste of time. Rather, focus your energy on building the friendships and relationships you already have. Your friends have every reason to dislike your annoying habits, yet they love you more than you know.Who else is there to hold your hair back or give you a hug on a bad day? Who is willing to come over late at night to help you finish your project? Who can you always count on to lend you a dollar for some chips? Your friends. And they would not be there if they did not love you.If my thoughts meant anything to you, call up an important girl in your life right now and tell her that you love her. Then call up an important boy in your life and tell him that you love him. You might want to call your parents as well. Please don’t send texts. The next time that you see a friend, express your love and let him or her know how great he or she is. You are in fact loved; remind others that they are loved as well!

Andrew Soluk is a sophomore in the School of Industrial and Labor Relations. He may be reached at abs322@cornell.edu. Guest Room appears periodically this semester.

Original Author: Andrew Soluk

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