December 5, 2019

American Savage: Don’t Give Up

Collin Reischman is a junior journalism major and regular columnist for The Journal

Game over people. I don’t know if it’s the sudden depressing downturn in weather, the nastiness of the recent nightly news or the slow suffocating pressure of finals and finishing the semester in one piece, but I don’t think we have a fighting chance. One in four people in this country believe they will live to see the end of days.
Those pesky ancient Mayans — conveniently wiped out by a band of imperialist Europeans — have managed to work the masses into a frenzy.
Sure, no scientific evidence exists and generations long before us in every nation have thought themselves to be the last. But you can’t deny the weirdness of it all.
And what of the mass animal deaths? Yes, there are stories on the news on a weekly basis of far more people dying in different places across the world from preventable causes, but the birds and fishes are giving me the willies.
And what about Japan?
Please, don’t ask people to hear the words “nuclear meltdown” and “Japan” and not immediately think of Godzilla. When I heard radiation was leaking into the water, the first thing I did was advise my friend in the Japanese government to secure ALL the zoos, lest a leak bring some kind of tremendous, Michael Bay-like monster to the shores.
Seriously, what is a person to do? Everyday, I hear about college students graduating with more debt and less money in the job market. I hear about how I won’t have any Social Security to retire, because by then we will all be broke.
We hear jobs are in the toilet, our reputation is shot, our money is worthless and our people are poor, stupid, fat and arrogant.
We’ve had lots of bad news at Webster University this year. It’s hard to look out the window and see anything other than unconquerable wilderness.
But it’s not impossible to look harder and enjoy the sunlight for a moment. It’s not impossible to remember the tremendous fortunes you have: the plentiful food and water freely flowing in every building, wherever you turn.
You could despair over the nature of our current environmental policy, or you could go take a long, slow walk through Blackburn Park and enjoy the places still untouched. Perspective is important.
As boxes and bags begin to fill, walls begin to bare, and our friends start to leave for a far off home, students will do well to have a little optimism. It might help to know that things are supposed improve, not decline, at this age.

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