The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

SMU professor Susanne Scholz in the West Bank in 2018.
SMU professor to return to campus after being trapped in Gaza for 12 years
Sara Hummadi, Video Editor • May 18, 2024
Instagram

Meet me in the middle

 Meet me in the middle
Meet me in the middle

Meet me in the middle

I hate the issues that arise out of race. If I had it my way, we’d all be stick figures, drawn with pencil, not colors. But let’s be real: race does exist, and the negatives that have been conjured out of race, such as discrimination, reverse discrimination, hate crimes and a myriad of other issues, do exist.

With the controversial amendment shrouding the SMU community, it’s hard not to hear opinions and see emotions flying left and right. I’ve read a fair share of opinions, from editorials in the paper to Hilltopics, and what I’ve come to believe is that each side wants the same thing: to ensure that everyone has a fair and equal shot at taking full advantage of every opportunity available to them. I do have my criticisms of both sides of the argument, as well as an objective understanding of both sides, but my concern is on a much larger scale and scope.

Let’s just take away the politics for a second, and look at ourselves on a very basic level of humanity. We don’t just exist. We co-exist, and because we do, we have to accept and embrace one another. Otherwise, it’s never going to work. We go on hating each other, and hate is such a huge burden of the soul. We can pass laws and keep laws from being passed, but no amount of legislation is going to invoke true equality. We can change laws, but we can’t always change mindsets. That’s where we need to start, because the most effective and enduring change comes from within. Don’t get me wrong, we shouldn’t stop trying to improve upon our formal governing structure or fight for what we believe in. But before we begin to rearrange laws, we need to rearrange our own thought process. We need to stop and re-evaluate our values on a very personal, very individual level. Prejudice and discrimination lay within the hearts and minds of individuals, and it is only when we open our minds and our hearts to others, irregardless of their race, their ethnic origin, their religion, sexual orientation and whatever else is in that waiver clause that you see at the bottom of every formal document, that we will be truly equal and truly aware that we are more alike than we are different.

Here’s another thing that bothers me — fighting. Opposing views lead to debates; debates turn into heated arguments, insults and condescending tones. It’s a constant battle to prove the opposing opinion wrong, a fight to the bitter end where there has to be a winner and a loser. I personally believe that in all we do, we must be able to meet each other halfway, because that right there is equality; where no one side is putting in any more or less effort than the other. No matter where we stand on the spectrum, I believe that the answer lies somewhere in the middle.

I don’t know about you guys, but I’m just a student of Southern Methodist University, trying to find my way in this world, struggling for comfort, striving for a personal sense of happiness. I’m not necessarily pursuing the American Dream, just my own. None of these goals and objectives has anything to do with the fact that I am female or Asian, Episcopalian or that I prefer men. I’m almost certain that very few of you have goals that depend on your race or someone else’s race. I don’t believe that anyone here has truly bad intentions for anyone else. But even good intensions can be clouded, skewed or manifested in ways that don’t quite fly with everyone. That’s where understanding and compassion must come in. Understanding and compassion are things that I’ve only recently come to fully grasp. I once thought that I had people figured out, that I had the entire human race figured out. But not once did I try to understand anyone. All of us need to be careful, because this is exactly the sort of habit that leads to passing judgments, generalizing too readily and quickly forming opinions. We need to get away from the idea of “us” and “them.” That’s a very dangerous frame of mind to get into. The only us and them there should be is us: Mustangs, and them: Horned frogs.

Maybe it’s just me. Maybe I’m a bit naive in my ways. I tend to have a lot of faith in people. But what I’ve come to learn is that if you give them a chance, people really will surprise you. People have surprised me. History has surprised me. Everything happens for a reason. And if they don’t, well then damn, maybe I’ve had it all backwards this entire time.

More to Discover