Dear Wellesley Community,
I do not know about you, but news headlines have felt very sobering to me lately. It not only seems like something is going wrong each day – there’s tangible evidence to back that up. It’s seeing elected politicians emphatically deny people the right to exist based on their identity. It’s seeing violent delights actually become violent ends, with terrible consequences. It’s seeing a sheer lack of character in politics that has become self-serving.
I remember coming across an online comment that said: in times like this, the only radical thing left to do is to hope and to love. It really does sound so fluffy – it’s times like this where I struggle, asking out loud – Where is the justice? How I am supposed to live in a problematic world which does not care about the people I care about? Why should I continue to hope and to love when I am so tired of it all?
But honestly, that’s all we have left to offer: to hope and to love anyway. To hope in spite of fear, and to love in spite of hate and apathy. My understanding is that to hope and to love is not just a fleeting feeling: it is a conscious act of your will. The worst thing we can do is to descend into cheerful nihilism, where all things lose their meaning to us.
Instead, I urge us all to understand our power, our place, and our ability to really make an impact in the communities we are a part of – and that includes Wellesley. To love means holding our community to a higher standard, to hope means to be bold in proposing changes, to do both means fighting the injustice that we see. It also means checking in with your friends and loving yourself enough. I challenge us to live out a truer definition of Non Ministrari sed Ministrare (“Not to be ministered unto, but to minister) here on our campus, and carry that with us in our lives. I’m not perfect at this, but let’s throw perfection to the wind – just listen to what this world needs, and just try.
I also wish to use this week’s column to offer love and support to everyone on campus who has gone through a tough time last week, and who still is going through a tough time. You exist, you matter and you are so very loved. And it is very much okay to disengage to take better care of yourself – that’s a radical act too. And for those who are radically loving and hoping for better things to come, I see you too and you’re the reason why I get inspired at Wellesley on the daily.
Keep on going on,
Kimberly Chia Yan Min
College Government President ‘18-’19