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We all love Hillsdale. If we don’t, we get out of here. The school is growing more selective every year. The more it stands by its mission and motto, expands the core and opposes grade inflation, the more self-selective it becomes as well. Much of the student body knows why they came here, and what keeps them here. It is an unde­niably charmed exis­tence we lead here.

It has become fash­ionable, however — and human nature being what it is implies that it has always been fash­ionable — to be cynical. It is a hardly sur­prising but no less sad state of affairs when stu­dents so soon out of high school — even seniors are only four years removed, a small enough passage of time growing rel­a­tively smaller with age — decide that by some magic the blinders of ado­les­cence are off and that whatever crit­icism they have for author­ities in their life are not only legit­imate, but also com­prehend the whole of the matter.

Being 17 to 20-some­thing should hardly be con­sidered grounds for further con­fi­dence in your ability to grasp the moti­va­tions and inten­tions of another person, espe­cially one who has been given a far greater respon­si­bility than yourself.

Idio­syn­crasies of com­munity are inescapable, all the more so in one so small and tightly-knit as Hillsdale. We stu­dents know the pecu­liar­ities of the faculty, staff, and admin­is­tration of the school because we have been given the priv­ilege to know them. The vis­i­bility of those tics and odd­ities evi­dence Hillsdale’s par­ticular humaneness.

It is easy enough to become frus­trated with the admin­is­tration, to suspect its faces of incom­pe­tence or mild mis­chief when you don’t under­stand a policy or ruling. It doesn’t make sense, and I know better, never mind I sit here from a classroom desk, you think. You may be right; you may know better at times and there may be mundane human depravity at work in whatever leg­islative solecism you find so unconscionable.

But at the root of things, it’s a person who you’re mad at. Hillsdale has an admin­is­tration that may at times behave bureau­crat­i­cally, but it does not have a bureau­cracy. The dean’s office, et al. are made up of people you have the priv­ilege to know, and the burden of being upset by. Dean  of Men Aaron Petersen, Chief Admin­is­trative Officer Rich Péwé, Asso­ciate Dean of Men Jeffery Rogers, and the rest of them will inevitably upset you. House mothers, fol­lowing orders or by their own volition, will upset you. Be grateful you have the oppor­tunity to be upset by human beings, not memos.

To be cynical, to ignore the wonder of the com­munity of love and of shared loves you are a part of here — if you have for­gotten what that is, or if you are a freshman, I beseech you to read or watch on YouTube last year’s 2014 senior class pres­ident Josh Andrew’s com­mencement address — is an inex­cusable pride. You acknowledge another’s humanity when you acknowledge and accept their apparent failures. Read Paul in 1 Corinthians 3:4 – 7, and try to hear it as the first time:

“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dis­honor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always pro­tects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.”

Instead of turning to cyn­icism, and judging the moti­va­tions, which you cannot know, of those in authority over you here at Hillsdale, attempt to love, in whatever the cir­cum­stance, whether that be food service or off-campus housing per­mission. Be patient. Honor author­ities as they are. Flee anger. Forgive wrongs. Seek the truth before passing judgment. Protect the com­munity you have adopted. Believe that those in authority seek to perform their duties well. Hope that they are and will do so. Per­severe in every frus­tration of life together. In that spirit of love, a word of question and cor­rection can be given in humility.