Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Lessons Learned

I'm blogging again because Brother Simmons at the Honor Code Office told me to. Yesterday at the daily check-in that we've been having since I was put on academic probation last week, I had to apologize for missing Monday's check-in because I'd been overwhelmed by Jan's death and not able to do much of anything at all. Brother Simmons already knew about Jan--he'd seen it in the news. "I'm really sorry for your loss," he said. "It's tragic to think what she could have done with her life if she hadn't thrown it away trying to push the mutant agenda."

My mouth dropped open. Was I actually hearing this? Putting the lives of others before your own is "trying to push the mutant agenda"? Really?

"Perhaps," he went on, "you can make the best of this tragic situation by learning from it and helping others do the same. Instead of using your blog to lead others away from the church, why don't you get back on there and tell people what you've learned from Jan's death?"

So here I am. I've spent the past day thinking about what I've learned from Jan's death, and this is what I've come up with:

  1. I learned that Jan was an amazing, selfless human being--even more than I realized when she was alive.
  2. I learned that life is short so we need to make the most of it now. If we wait for later, there might not be a later. Jan died younger than most but at least she made a positive impact on the world while she was here. I should do the same. 
  3. I learned that my belief in an afterlife is not as solid as it used to be. Maybe if I were sure that I'd see Jan again someday, I'd be able to handle this better, but I can't lie to myself, even if the lie might be comforting. The truth is, I have no idea what happens after death and I don't believe anyone really knows. Which sucks right now, but in the long run I think it will help me do better with #2. If there's an afterlife, then great, but in the meantime I need to make the most of the life I know I have. 
  4. I learned that sometimes really shitty things happen to really great people. But that's no reason not to do good. It's not about earning a reward; it's about doing good because you want to make the world a better place. 
And finally,

     5.  I learned that Brother Simmons at the Honor Code Office is a heartless prick.

I hope you're reading this, Brother Simmons. I assume this is what you had in mind? 

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