The pages of this newspaper have both reported and sharply criticized Colgate’s fall to number 21 the US News and World Report liberal arts rankings. And by now, I hardly doubt that any Colgate student hasn’t heard that the days of free flowing FourLoko in the state of New York are rapidly coming to an end (if you haven’t, I’m sorry to be the bearer of bad news). The semester is at that awful moment when papers just seem to pile up and finals are just around the corner.
But despite Colgate’s fall from grace, the end of FourLoko-pre-gaming for the hospital, unpleasant amounts of work from previously pleasant professors, we all have so much to be thankful for.
If you are reading the Maroon-News, you probably have a lot going for you. Before you think of that as a shameless plug for this publication, please take a moment to think about what that actually means.
You are probably a Colgate student, faculty member or parent, and you already have a huge advantage on the rest of the world. You are getting, giving or paying for a world-class education. You are probably an American (which comes with its own laundry list of things to be thankful for), and even if you aren’t, you are studying at one of the best institutions in one of the best countries on Earth to be a student.
All of you are lucky to be so privileged, and you all have a lot to be thankful for. The vast majority of people on this planet never get to be part of a place like Colgate. What’s worse, an even bigger number of people never even have the opportunity to.
So next Thursday, when you are sitting around warm tables with people you love, eating piles of delicious food, remember that not everyone is. Take a moment to think about the people who can’t afford a meal let alone a feast, about those who can’t heat their homes, and those who don’t even have homes.
You haven’t earned your place in this world. If you are a student, even one who overcame poverty or other seemingly insurmountable odds to get to Colgate, you were lucky enough to be born into a system that put you where you are today. You are the result of a lucky and highly improbable roll of the dice. Even if you are on a college budget eating ramen from a Styrofoam cup, you aren’t living on a dollar a day. You weren’t and will never be a child soldier or dealing with the hardships of being illiterate. I am not asking you to feel bad about your life. I am just asking you to be thankful for the hand you were dealt.
Whether Colgate is 19 or 21 in the rankings and what alcoholic options are available at any given moment are ultimately inconsequential when compared to the real trials faced by those further down the totem pole. You were lucky to be put on top, enjoy the view and be glad for it. Don’t bother climbing Mount Everest. You are already at the top of the world. Just be thankful for it.