The Needs of the Many Outweigh the Needs of You

Let’s take a minute to discuss something of equal importance to us all —life.

There has been a long withstanding discussion circling human civilization. What is the meaning of life when so much of it, from plague to war to the TV schedule, is out of our control? You are probably thinking, “Surely, this imposing topic is beyond the scope of a Jambar editorial.” But, theoretical reader, you are wrong.

Because there are many elements of life that are beyond our control, the only thing most of us can do is worry about that which we do control — our own actions. And, we should make sure that those actions are of some value to both ourselves and the world around us.

For some college students, then, the meaning of life is nothing more than going to class, playing video games, sleeping in until noon, binge drinking at a bar or picking up attractive members of the opposite sex. For others, the meaning of life is nothing more than staying up late and drinking energy drinks just to ensure that a lofty GPA is further inflated by an A in an inane general education course.

A life like the one described above has very little meaning — its positive contributions not extending beyond the self. Unfortunately, it is this kind of life that has all too often dictated society’s opinions regarding our age bracket.

Yet, these opinions are not entirely accurate; there are students who challenge society’s attitude toward our generation by working hard to help others. Some college students, with their youthful vigor, their health and their passion, have regularly led meaningful lives, and you need not look beyond our own campus to find these students. Youngstown State University’s student groups — like the Habitat for Humanity group and the Youngstown Environmental Sustainability Society — are comprised entirely of students with meaningful lives who work hard to give back.

So, as a collective group, let’s work to elevate our status in society. Let the active members of the aforementioned student groups serve as our role models. Like they have already done, let’s make sure that our actions have a positive impact on others, that our lives take on meaning and that we become major contributors to our community, not just contributors to our own self-interests.

That’s not to say that we expect selflessness because giving back is at least partially selfish — but that’s a good thing. When we volunteer our time, when we get off the couch and put down that Xbox controller, we place ourselves on the receiving end of a great gift — the satisfaction that we have helped someone else in need.

When enrolled in school, we always seem to lack time for ourselves. But, when we do have a moment to spare, let’s make sure that our actions help not only ourselves but others as well.

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