Freud observed the phenomenon of egocentricity in infants and adolescents alike. I would like to expand this hypothesis to include the copious number of apathetic, naive and self-centered students who attend NIU. I am referring to the many individuals who took offense to last Friday’s protest against The Northern Star but did not take the opportunity to examine the REAL circumstances surrounding the protest.
These people, in their own self-serving mentality, condemned the act as “a stunt directed against innocent people.” Collectively, we are all responsible for the social atmosphere while we are at school. How many of these people have taken the time to talk with others and LISTEN effectively to their concerns? Instead of this, these people single out the actions and criticism which they feel pertains exclusively to them. By doing this, they effectively ignore and distort the real understanding and empathy.
I feel sorry for these ignorant people, especially because the sheltered environment of their community at home does not offer them the opportunity to learn the skills necessary to mature and thus become open-minded. These “white-picket fence” communities are saturated with conformists, and it is unfortunate that they have not been exposed to the realities of life as it truly is. These societies favor racial separation instead of the promotion of cooperation and understanding toward all individuals.
I am therefore making an appeal to the students of NIU to try to realize that this is a diverse, integrated university and that UNITY, not opposition, in diversity can be achieved. All it takes is for all of us to open our hearts and have empathy for the concerns of others. We must learn to listen to REAL PEOPLE and realize that life is not just another episode of “Beverly Hills 90210.”
Brett T. Schoen