Why “UnSung Heroes” Should Be On Every Campus

Why “UnSung Heroes” Should Be On Every Campus

We need to lift our heads up from our phones, say hello, and engage.
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In the October 13th issue of the Washington Post, the story of a Georgetown student and janitor was shared. The student, Febin Bellamy, who had previously felt an imaginary wall between himself and the janitor, engaged in conversation with him and learned his story. After learning the story of this particular janitor, Oneil Batchelor, an immigrant from Jamaica, Bellamy was inspired to learn more about the stories of other workers on his campus. As he got to know more of the workers on his campus, he wanted to create a way to connect students to workers and what began as a class project is now a campus-wide organization.

Bellamy began by creating a Facebook page called Unsung Heros, which shared small profiles of workers around his campus. Eventually, these stories inspired students to get involved in supporting the dreams of the workers on their campus and have created successful fundraisers. Batchelor's entrepreneurial dream of owning his own business was made a reality by a fundraiser, which has allowed him to start his own business catering his now-famous jerk chicken. Students also raised money for a cashier at their dining hall to fly round-trip to South Sudan and visit his family that he hasn't seen in 45 years.

Unsung Heroes is an inspiring project that should exist on every campus. Each school has hard-working, under-appreciated workers with their own inspiring stories that deserve to be shared. We, as students of these institutions, are fortunate enough to be given the opportunity of higher education and should be grateful to those who enhance the experience for us. As Bellamy explains, "Everybody's in their own world, a lot of students have good hearts and were raised right. It's just not always easy for them to get to know people around them." Most of us were raised with values of appreciating others, but allow this divide to be created between us and our campus workers.

So, what can we do about it? We can begin by engaging with those who work across our campus. Instead of staring at our phones as we walk past them in the halls, we can smile and say hi and wish them a good day. I make a conscious effort to engage with custodians on my hall and workers I see daily across campus, even if its just a smile or simple "thank you". We must remember that without these hard-working individuals, our college experience would not be the same.

The idea behind Unsung Heroes is one that should exist across all campuses, to appreciate those who are undervalued but deserving of the highest praise. I am proud that my school, The College of Wooster, has started an initiative to grant living and competent wages to these workers called the Living Wage Campaign, but we still need to do more. We need to not just demand adequate wages for our workers, but we need to know them and respect them. So, I challenge everyone to engage with these unsung heroes that exist across their campuses and learn their stories. Even the smallest effort and interaction can make a difference in someone's day, just lift your head up from your phone and say "hi".

Cover Image Credit: nbcnews.com

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You Are What You Eat, You Are What You Read

“Would many choices be better than limited choices?”
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Every day, choosing what to wear and what to eat are hard tasks. And if there is no satisfactory clothing and location that bump into mind, we may feel uncomfortable with the clothing we wear for the day, and there is a possibility for us to skip the meal, though sometimes the hunger holds.

Once I saw a friend posting “When would our hesitation of deciding what to wear and what to eat come to an end?”, a normal and typical complain of our mundane life. For no reason, I started thinking, when and how would this “problem” resolve itself? Sure, I was very curious about the answer as well.

Later, I have arrived at two answers. The positive one would be that we know exactly what we want to wear and eat, though there are many choices ahead, we would directly choose the one that is in mind, without hesitation. While the negative one would be, there is only one choice hanging, that we have no other choice.

I was terrified of the answers immediately.

Washington D.C. is a small city geographically, but as the capital, D.C. provides us multiple choices over many spectrums of our lives – internships, sightseeing sights, museums, National Mall, etc. Just like the difficulty posted earlier, we have too many choices.

“Would many choices be better than limited choices?” I guess this is the real question behind my friend's complains.

Normally, we believe more options are better than less, then the core of the question comes into the person:

What do you want?

Who do you want to be?

And all I can think of are:

You are what you eat.

You are what you read.

We probably arrived at this philosophical question about what is contained in our bodies? Physically, the food we eat largely determines our health conditions. As most of us pursue our lives to be healthy, we have created a healthy diet, which introduced the better eating styles with a certain percentage of specific kinds of food. In this case, "eating" not only represents a mere action, it also determines our lifestyles and the physical appearance of ourselves.

Outside of physical health, mental health is the other very important category for people in this time era to take good care of. And the easiest way to build up our mental stability is to read, so we can learn more about the world and then to understand ourselves.

Eating and reading are the two inseparable parts of our daily lives, and to be more alive, continuing the two actions and trying to do our best in the two categories should be our goal of living. Because we know, they are the paths to the future we desire.

We are what we eat, and we are what we read.

Cover Image Credit: Facebook

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Beanstalk: A Poem

No longer, but a beanstalk.
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What once was is no longer.

You aren't, he isn't, she isn't.

No longer

themselves, yet a transformation,

a growth, a beanstalk.

Extending legs,

arms,

heart.

Touching those

surrounding

like a river hose.

Or one of those

others,

like a

tree and it's branches

touching the star

I once was, but no longer.

Cover Image Credit: Pexels

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