Bekah Enns, Joel Nofziger, Co-Editors in Chief
Ideals center and guide us. They challenge us, direct us, inspire us, chastise us, and bind us together. In the whirlwind of life they are stable. Therefore, in the spirit of (but without all the singing and dancing and flamboyance of) the student written, student directed, and student produced musical on the subject of ideals performed on campus this past weekend, let us address the ideals that have grounded us as a community in the past week, past semester, and the past school year. They will also continue to challenge us in this time of transition.
Transitions are made up of endings and beginnings, a fact which grows clearer as the semester draws to a close. The academic cycle is not the only calendar that shapes our lives, however. There are also the rhythms of life and death, making themselves heard through the busy noise of life. Campus has been reminded of this through the life of Theo Yoder, who passed away Thursday, April 12. This is not an easy thing; grief and struggle are real and valid. However, we must remember that truly living means not fearing periods of transition.
In times of sorrow and times of joy, the support of community is essential. The Weather Vane has made the call for community clear this year. It is easier to talk about community here on a campus that includes a focus on camaraderie in its social and academic pursuits. The language of fellowship is not so easily articulated at times of transition and in liminal space. However, the ideals of collaboration, co-dependence, and collective care must be carried with us as we move away from here.
Collective effort was embodied in the production of the student run musical, “Ideals for Earnest Youth: The Musical LIVE!!!” The phenomenal display of student talent and initiative also touched on the dangers of being corrupted by the pressures of society. They countered with the advice to “grow a backbone,” which is when one differentiates oneself from one’s community to pursue the elusive identity of success. Validation and purpose can be found in many different venues. We must recognize that individual uniqueness is crucial to identity. Here on campus, individuals find success in art work, athletic prowess, and academic achievements. Such examples of success were recognized yesterday in chapel.
Amidst the struggle and fight for success, it is important to step back and take time for self-care. Rest and renewal, while they may seem lazy, are important aspects of work and creativity. Summer presents many opportunities: working, internships, spending time with friends and family. Working provides an opportunity to learn about oneself and one’s task. Internships provide knowledge about a field. Family and friends provide a supportive community. While these are good and valid, be sure to also take time for individual renewal, regardless of the form it takes. It is important for us to be reflective in everything we do.
Here then are a few ideals for EMU: that we transition, we fellowship, we succeed, and we reflect. These ideals can center and guide us.