Vulnerability

STATEMENT 1: In his homily at the Class of 2005’s Baccalaureate Mass, LMU’s President Fr. Robert Lawton, S.J., said: ‘‘So what is the answer to this deep insecurity we all feel? The answer, I think, is to embrace the adventure of becoming deeply, and fully, ourselves. This is what God is really calling us to. It seems like the riskiest of all journeys, this journey to be one self. But it’s ultimately the journey that leads us to happiness, that leads us into God’s dreams for us.’’

QUESTION 1: Why do you think Fr. Lawton says the ‘‘journey to be oneself’’ seems the riskiest of all journeys? What risks lie ahead in your college career as you embark on the ‘‘adventure’’ of discovering and becoming yourself?

STATEMENT 1: In his homily at the Class of 2005’s Baccalaureate Mass, LMU’s President Fr. Robert Lawton, S.J., said: ‘‘So what is the answer to this deep insecurity we all feel? The answer, I think, is to embrace the adventure of becoming deeply, and fully, ourselves. This is what God is really calling us to. It seems like the riskiest of all journeys, this journey to be one self. But it’s ultimately the journey that leads us to happiness, that leads us into God’s dreams for us.’’QUESTION 1: Why do you think Fr. Lawton says the ‘‘journey to be oneself’’ seems the riskiest of all journeys? What risks lie ahead in your college career as you embark on the ‘‘adventure’’ of discovering and becoming yourself? Jane Eyre couldn’t have said it better herself. “Thus was I severed from Bessie and Gateshead: thus whirled away to unknown, and, as I then deemed, remote and mysterious regions.” Much like Jane from Charlotte Bronte’s novel Jane Eyre, I will soon be severed from everything familiar and commonplace, everything and everyone I have ever known in my home city of Austin, Texas. Being “whirled away to unknown” in itself is a risk I am willing to take. Granted, nerves are present, but excitement and exhilaration abounds and ultimately triumphs. Every human being has an awful fear of one thing: failure. The word simply screams the connotation of embarrassment and shame. I, unfortunately, am no different from all the others who possess this fear. Failure is a resounding thought when I am bombarded with questions such as, where will you go to college? What will be your major? What do you plan to do with the rest of your life? It’s all a little overwhelming when I sit back and think about these major decisions. It is not even necessarily academic failure that I am concerned about regarding my ascent into college this coming year, but more so a failure of not choosing the right major, or not meeting the right people. There are so many things I feel I have, in a sense, taken for granted about high school, such as the friends I have been blessed with and the classes I have been instructed to take. Now that I no longer will be forced into taking certain restricting classes or pushed to be friends with people that are “family friends” I feel a whole new risk factor in the decisions that I will be making independently on a daily basis.Naturally, I feel the threat and the risk of isolation. It seems only natural that incoming college freshmen would be apprehensive about forming firm new friendships with complete strangers, and once again I do not stand alone in this worry. From this concern stems President Fr. Robert Lawton’s idea of the “journey to be oneself.” I have seen it happen countless times. Certain people, upon being set into the situation of befriending those unfamiliar to them, tend to change their previous hobbies or beliefs to conform to this new friend’s expectations. Because of this habit of adapting to accommodate others, it seems ironically that what once was the “journey to be oneself” quickly turns into a risky position of actually losing your true self. In the end, however, it is going to be the way I approach the risks that will determine the most about me. I have always been one to view challenges as mere puzzles to solve rather than huge obstacles, seemingly impossible to overcome. They stimulate my thought process rather than hinder it, and provide me with entertainment rather than dismay. While it is certainly easy to look at attending college as a daunting or even gloomy step to take, why not turn it around and instead focus on the benefits of this opportunity? I know that college will be a completely new and unfamiliar time, and will certainly take some compromising and much adjustment. I understand that there will be risks and difficult decisions, but I know that I have been prepared and raised to face these things head on, with the best possible attitude. It seems to have worked out well for Jane Eyre, who started out in a much similar situation. 

Leave a Comment