A few years ago…Ted Koppel, then of ABC News Nightline did an address to the graduating class of Duke University called the Vanna-tizing of America. Just reading this article given all of the stuff taking place on the college campus has got my head scratching that Dennis Prager may be right. Before you send your student to college, have them spend a year working in a customer service job such as being a Waiter, or Waitress and getting some people skills, work ethic and acquiring some character development along the way, and then send them to Israel for two months to get a taste of what is happening in the real world beyond the four corners and borders of the city, or state they were born and raised.
These recent developments of college students requesting safe zones, and calling on resignations in Missouri of the President at the University of Missouri for whatever the reason behind the occupation take over of the President’s office is telling me that the Moral GPS or compass has taken a nose dive and crashed because students entering college have been coddled and protected to the point of wanting safe zones on campuses. Why? Because they have been verbally assaulted or harassed by having been called or labeled with a name or characterization of some type. The reality of this so called crisis is you can’t stand behind a protective shield, or plastic bubble, or have ear plugs in your ears forever.
College students, you have left home 100s or 1000s of miles a way to start a new life, and to develop your talents, gifts, skills, and abilities, and to blaze your own trail, and yet when something happen that mentally or verbally rocks your world, you cower and ask for safe zones. I’m sorry, but you are now 18 years old…an adult according to the American legal system to vote, possibly drink depending on the jurisdiction and to be responsible and use some Common Sense. You are on the Precipice of entering the real world where you are not going to have Safe Zones in the work place. There will be HR policies to abide by which ask you to respect other people and treat them the way you would want to be treated. If you don’t want to be harassed verbally, or otherwise, don’t do it yourself. In a work environment, do your job, work hard, treat your co-workers and peers with respect, and work your tail off to please your Employer, and your customers so you can continue to keep your job and come to work the next day to earn an income. Doing stupid things will get you fired and removed from being able to produce an income, and the end result will be having to hustle for bottles and cans and such. Hopefully it will never come to that, but when you don’t do what you are supposed to do, you will reap what you sow.
On the subject of colleges with safe zones and categories of exclusivity, you will need to adapt, improvise, and overcome. In the words of former OSU Basketball coach Ralph Miller, “I learned a long time ago that you can’t please everyone all of the time, so I don’t even try.” The University and the Academy has been in the past the marketplace of ideas, and the place where people learned to work together, and respect people’s opinions, persuasions, and convictions while also allowing for the Freedom of Speech, Press and Religion, there is a willingness in terms of the exchange of ideas. Those who are wanting safe zones because they can’t agree with or tolerate the opinions, persuasions, and convictions of others who are saying something in disagreement with their own worldview, opinions, persuasions’ and convictions are intolerant and non-inclusive from where they are standing.
To disagree, disallow or try to force compliance on to another whom you have the disagreement with is to place yourself in a cloistered, sheltered position where you don’t learn how to negotiate, exercise diplomacy, exchange dialogue, learn from one another, or discuss options and solutions. One will need how to come up with strategies to defeat roadblocks that could be allowed to open the flow of communication, and answers to resolve and diffuse a powder keg. Safe zones are a form of selfishness and inconsideration of considering viable options to begin resolutions and agreements. Instead there is a hunkering down, and choices to double down on a position or stance which create more problems, conflicts, unresolvable differences and potentially breakdowns, break ups, dissolving of partnerships and World War III.
Essentially, the allowance of Safe Zones on the college campus will do the opposite of what is supposed to happen in students’ lives going to college. Instead of developing into well rounded, self-respecting individuals who respect themselves, respect others and provide a sense of hope in our world and growth as a person, students will become more exclusive, self-absorbed, selfish, and become diminished in their development Mentally, Physically, Socially, Emotionally, Psychologically and Spiritually. Growth becomes stunted and inhibited resulting in a withering away of life resulting in a person becoming a non-life giving entity.
For Students to experience maximum growth and live giving potential, it is a Spiritual Experience. Once a student comes to a conclusion in terms of who they are in light of who the God of the Universe is through a relationship with Jesus Christ, the man or woman who has this encounter will not need Safe Zones to protect them from the darts, daggers, trials, tribulations and worries of this world. What is available via a relationship with Christ is the God of the Universe who is able to help provide guidance and the necessary means to help a student navigate his or her life. Is it Easy? No! Will there be Struggles, Worries and Fears? Yes! And yet that relationship with God is Strong, Stable, Foundational, and will provide Promises where a students’ his or her faith can know are true, Trustworthy, and fully Sufficient in the midst of whatever is going on. A student or person who knows Christ has a Safe Zone that is constant, always available, and always open anywhere on the Planet because God is an Everlasting Presence in times of trouble.
God provides His Word, His Son, a means of Faith that is unshakable, secure, and able to withstand Destructive forces. He is always there via the person of His Son, and the Power of His Holy Spirit. It is not only for students, but for anyone who wants to call upon the name of the Lord, that person will receive Eternal Life along with elements of Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness and Self Control.