At Villanova, all students, regardless of school or major, are required to take a set of four classes directly towards the cultivation of our personal identities. These classes teach us about culture, history, theology, and ethics with the goal of personal growth and knowledge of ourselves, what we believe, and how we want to live our lives.
Right now, I am taking the last piece of this core puzzle, ethics, and through this class, I realized something.
So many times, I've sat in the back of my class or on my phone scrolling through the news and wondered how things could have gotten this bad.
The student debt crisis. Continued racial, sexual, and LGBT+ injustices. Corruption within the justice system. People dying everyday because they can't afford medicine. Men fighting for the right to control women's bodies. Judges not caring what happens to a woman's body. The climate emergency. Political indifference that people are being murdered in classrooms, movie theaters, malls, and clubs due to deadly weapons being owned by people who should have never had access to them in the first place. The president.
I think about these tragedies and more and can't understand how we could have let it get this far. Why is nothing getting better? Why doesn't anyone care?
That's when I realized while listening to another lecture about normative ethics and endless theories coined by dead philosophers, that the issue lies in consideration — or rather, our general lack of consideration.
Our lives are each individually complicated and it can be easy to sink into ourselves, our lives, our desires, our opinions. However, the world is greater than each individual person and people have struggles that some of us can never imagine having and will never personally see.
If we were to step outside ourselves and our small bubble of experience even for a moment, we would be exposed to an entire world of unique perspectives as well as all-too-common plights that people outside of that small bubble experience daily.
It's easy to forget about those who don't directly affect you. It's easy to only think about my needs and my wants and my experiences. But life isn't about what's easiest.
If we were to seriously consider the lives of those who we normally would not come into contact with, those of different situations and different backgrounds, imagine how much we would learn about the consequences of our actions. And imagine the effect that consideration would have for those who are currently suffering.
Less needless deaths. Equality. All jobs as means of living. Perseverance of a dying earth. Public policy that incites improvement for the entire country and the diverse group of people that populate it. Less hate. More love.
Adding consideration into our lives invites the possibility of progress. We're getting no where thinking only of ourselves. We are stagnant while we idly watch other countries enact the change we can only hope for.
So next time you're sitting as I have, wondering where we went wrong, ask yourself when you last considered those who aren't around you. And when election season rolls around, I implore you to ask yourself if you're being considerate.