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The (almost) penULTIMATE

February 28th, 2013

The Penultimate or the Ultimate pen?

Every week, I collect my thoughts, sit down at my computer and write a column that I feel is somehow relevant to the world (or at least our world). Sometimes, I hit the nail on the head, like when I praised the true masculinity of those who can wear a beard. Other times, I’ve missed completely, like when I called out Cosmo for being a bad influence on our culture (here’s my eleventh-hour confession – I love reading Cosmo, it’s uncensored entertainment that gives me insight into the enemies’ minds).

What can I say? I’m like AskJeeves.com – you have questions, I provide answers. Sure, I’m no Google; but like that friendly 1999 search engine butler, I still do my best. In fact, a lot of the time I answer questions that nobody was asking. I guess I just get it.

But last week, a friend keenly observed that lately the tone of my columns has had an air of finality. It’s true; I’m getting old, and quite frankly I can’t hold this column space forever. But fear not, loyal Blue Streak readers! I am not abandoning you. As Phil Collins so melodically said, “You’ll be in my heart, always.”

In my first column, almost three years ago, I thanked some people who helped me along my way. Now that the next issue marks my penultimate column, it’s my turn to thank you specifically. Yep, you … Like, the one reading this right now. If you didn’t pick up this paper and read this column, I wouldn’t have a voice. You have given me my greatest gift, and I appreciate it. If you see me this week, feel free to say, “You’re welcome, Brian.” I’ll understand.

At the end of the day, I just enjoy writing. Everyone has something to say, and I have the rare opportunity to broadcast that something to anyone who cares to read it.

However, the reason I write is much deeper than that. Since I put a lot of thought into each column, I figure that I really don’t write to make people think – I have already done the thinking for you; I write to make people feel.

Depending on the subject or my opinion on the subject, how people feel tends to change. The important part is that they do, in fact, have some reaction to it. This is my gift, and I only try to offer the best that I can.

Have I made you laugh? Nice. Have I made you angry? Good. Have I comforted you when you’re alone at night and all that’s keeping you company is all of my columns cut out and taped to your wall? Creepy, but you’re welcome.

My point is, whether you read to smile or to stand up for your cause (yes, I’m talking about you, feminists and Greeks) or just to look like you’re not sitting by yourself in the cafeteria, you are the one with the responsibility to ACT.

It’s easy to become jaded by “the man” or to feel like there’s something wrong with the world. Trust me, there’s plenty wrong with the world. But that doesn’t mean that the world is a bad place. It just means that you need to feel more genuinely and take action towards making it better.

If something makes you laugh, spread that happiness. If something makes you mad (like if I were to stereotype women, for example), respond with your voice.

Do the right thing and stand up for your beliefs. Nothing is worse than someone who sits idly by as the cruel world desensitizes their ability to experience life. Feel, love, hate, speak, act. That’s the key; it’s so easy.

Here at JCU, everybody has a unique opportunity – the opportunity to share your gift. People’s interests and talents vary, but the common denominator is chance. We all have the chance to do great things with our own abilities, and we need to exploit that in order to be the best we can be.

Don’t let apathy seize your soul. Death doesn’t come when your heart stops beating – it comes when your heart stops beating for something.

When I was a senior in high school, I caught a bad case of senioritis. The first couple years of college were a decent remedy, but it has come back with a vengeance. In fact, I’m pretty sure my senioritis has now caught senioritis. There are times when motivation is low, and the will to even get out of bed is even lower.

The only cure for this, though, is sparking the Ignatian fire that can move mountains and change the world. The cure for apathy is action. And the key to action is awakening your soul and feeling.