Letter From The Editor: Being thankful
'Tis the season of giving thanks. Being thankful is of course the cliche term of the Thanksgiving holiday. But it's a healthy act to take the time to be truly thankful for the things we can be appreciative about. It's easy to forget to say "thank you," especially during the smaller moments when we should, I'm guilty of this quite often out of sheer spaciness (but I am practicing, especially when I sneeze).
I fear that the older I get the more radical I become in my rejection of materialism. Life can change in a single heartbeat, in a single instant, and the crass objects that were of supreme value yesterday become meaningless next to the treasures of friendship, solidarity, love and kindness. Culturally we are living through a shallow, jaded age, maybe it will take a catastrophe to break the ice. For some of us individually, it is through loss, pain or illness that life reorients its compass.
I'll quickly make a detour towards two books: Over the summer I read Gabriel Garcia Marquez's classic novel "One Hundred Years Of Solitude." There is a chapter where a military commander involved in the civil wars to federate South America makes a final, valiant effort to ask for the hand of the love of his life in the imaginary town of Macondo. She rejects him, coldly. His feelings shattered, the commander stands by a telegraph office, watching a sad rain fall over the town. When his superior telegraphs a war update, the commander simply replies, "it is raining in Macondo." The war has lost all meaning for him within the human scale of life.
Another book I read, "Journeys Through Hell," by Dr. Dennis J. Stouffer, chronicles the lives of patients who have suffered serious, third degree burn injuries, some over most of their bodies. It is a powerful testament to how catastrophic injury suddenly makes what we take for granted so important. In the book patients recount how simply having a loyal friend becomes important, especially when life turns into a world of medical pain where even after the bandages are removed, disfigurement turns casual moments such as going out to a restaurant into a time of dread.
Over this past semester I have learned a lot about myself, and about the importance of honesty and friendships. I've been lucky to have an editorial staff that features individuals who, even in moments of passionate disagreement, have always been honest or helpful with the best intentions. Our Corsair editors have worked on this paper with a dedication and creativity astounding for positions which deserve stipends. Some of us work on this paper hours that exceed that of most regular, 9-5 jobs. Some of us don't even receive credits, we make the paper because we love it.
Managing Editor Rachel Gianuario, Photo Editor Mia Duncans, Digital Editor Juan Lopez, Multimedia Editor Ronja Jansz, Opinion Editor Jonathan Ramos, Health & Lifestyle Paulina Eriksson and Sports Editor James Powel have been not only great collaborators, but good company as well. I want to thank them for being good people as much as for being such hard workers. For a lone wolf, it's a rarity I am very thankful for.
Consider the importance of a good Managing Editor. Despite our personal differences in some areas, and occasional clashes, Rachel has been an excellent manager in keeping the troops together, keeping track of content and being that second voice that tells the Editor In Chief "eh, it's probably not smart to say that." Outside the office we might not be terribly compatible, but at the paper I'm extremely thankful for having a Managing Editor I never fear of approaching with an issue, opinion or general inquiry.
Whenever friends or someone else asks what I would do with millions of dollars, I honestly say that I would be happy just buying books, watching movies and traveling to countries I've always wanted to visit like Greece. That doesn't sound terribly flashy, most girls might find that kind of guy boring, but Iife can take away as quickly as it gives, and we should be thankful when we at least have good health.
This Thanksgiving, look around and be thankful for the things and people that matter. But please, do eat well. A Happy Thanksgiving from the staff at The Corsair.