The Collegian
Thursday, August 18, 2022

Don't be afraid to be a spectacle

Go crazy. Crazy like this guy I saw Sunday when I got to go to the live concert with Dave Matthews and Tim Reynolds. I don't know who he is, but he was on the floor of the Siegel Center with hundreds of people behind him in the audience watching him completely let loose. He had his own personal variation that was a combination of running in place, karate, krump and Irish step all piled into one. He was seriously getting into it. I didn't join him because I thought it was funny at first, but eventually I realized how much I respected him for his ability to lose himself in the music. No drugs, no alcohol, just a love for Dave and Tim.

While everyone around me watched Dave play incredible music and this guy lose control, I realized that I could never decide whether we should all grow up or never grow up at all. In some ways I think it's safe to say that we college students aren't responsible adults, but we also have this tendency toward grownup forms of insecurity. Insecurity is almost the cornerstone of academia because each new bit of knowledge is another laurel for your confidence to rest on. The academic environment breeds cautioned speech, thoughtful prose and "impartial" research. If there's one thing I've learned while going through college, it's that I can never know as much as the next person, and if I have a revolutionary thought, there's a good chance someone else is having the same thought elsewhere. This doesn't mean that I should give up on school, but when push comes to shove it's not my work that makes me who I am so I don't have to base my life on it.

I read a completely madeup story once about a graduate of the Harvard Business School vacationing on the coast of Mexico. While walking down the beach, he noticed a local man coming in from his day of fishing with just enough fish to feed his family for the day. When the American saw this he asked, "What is you life like here on the coast?"

The fisherman replied, "I fish every day for just enough fish for my family, and then I go into town at night, sip whiskey and play the guitar with my friends."

Amazed, the American exclaimed, "I can help you! I'm a student of business, and I'm sure that you can build your one fishing boat into an entire fleet if you are just willing to put in a little extra work every day. You might even be able to sell your fishing company to a large corporation in New York or L.A. and move up in the administrative ranks."

To this the fisherman replied, "And after I move away from home and make lots of money, what will I do with my life?"

"Well," said the American, "I guess near the end of your life you could retire, buy a small house on the coast of Mexico, fish during the day and at night go into town to sip whiskey and play guitar with your friends."

I think we should learn to live life now instead of waiting until we go abroad, go home for the summer or a long way down the road when we enter retirement. And I'll note that as with all my columns, I should probably start to take my own advice. For this reason, I've decided we should start to go a little crazy at this school in a new sort of way. With the season coming to a close, I can't stress enough the potential of the football games. I understand there are more sporting events than just football, but I've grown up with football and personally seen the crowd it brings. There are only three more games left in the season and they are all conference games. We need some energy to build off in the last few weeks while the guys on our team make sure to put forth some serious effort. Considering there is only one home game left, I'm ready to see the student body rally behind our guys on the home field. And why not? They work out in the mornings and evenings to get ready for these games - the least we can do is show them we care. Wear face paint, scream the chants, watch closely and learn to lose yourself for the sake of the game.

How often are we so passionate about something that we completely lose our dignity for it? Honestly, that guy at the concert had tons of people laughing at him, but he did what he wanted to do and that's what matters. It doesn't have to be noble (though that can also be the case) and you don't always have to look cool. It's more of a mindset. Let loose in the most childish of ways, but make sure to be safe while you wear your red and blue at the next game. Since we're all going to eventually become adults of some sort, we should make a point to become the sort of people who are able to be childish and responsible at the same time. It's like growing up, but in the overgrown child sort of way. Am I right?

Contact staff writer Michael Rogers at michael.rogers@richmond.edu

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