Hanging By a Thread

Nov 092004
Authors: Kelly Hagenah

There are times when it seems as if there are only two types of

people in this world. Throughout this last semester, as attention

has been on the election and news coverage has aimed at college

binge-drinking, I swear it can appear as if we either need to

lighten up and let things go, or shape up and hold on a little

tighter. Why do we have such a hard time learning how to let go?

While I do not doubt the difficulty involved in letting go, and

have had my own struggles with it, I have a tough time

understanding how people can ignore the gray area and focus only on

the black or white.

Seriously- I know how important our values and beliefs are to

us, not to mention our opinions, but does it have to be taken so

far that we can’t respect or understand another person’s differing

thoughts? Or worse yet, divide a nation because we have to separate

ourselves into classified political parties?

I will admit it. I will open myself to the criticisms, but I did

not vote for President George W. Bush. And while I did not jump up

and down when Sen. John Kerry conceded, I knew that pouting and

whining wouldn’t change a thing either. I did what I hope every

American, whether Republican, Democrat, independent or undecided

will come to do – I let it go. What’s done is done, I did what I

could, and the decision has been made. The majority voted for

President Bush and he will be in office for the next four years, so

I learned to accept it. Just because you recognize something you

don’t want to, does not mean your thoughts, beliefs or opinions

mean any less. Hold true to your values because they are your own.

Don’t change your ways because the majority thinks otherwise, but

don’t be so stubborn that you can’t respect the way things are.

Learn to lighten up and find the good that you can, or else life

will become too criticized to be enjoyed. However, as for those

people who got their way, you too need to let it go. You won, you

got your man back and it’s been official for quite some time. Stop

rubbing your win in to the opponent’s face and move on before you

make people resent the outcome even more. We all need to carry on

with our lives, forget the votes and parties that divide us, and

concentrate now on what we can do to get the most out of this new

term and reunite America.

While it is vital to recognize when to let go, it is imperative

to know just how much to loosen your grip. The media portrays

college students to have such a hard time saying no and realizing

their limits with drinking, that they end up being poisoned to

death. Although the circumstances and stories surrounding this area

are tragic and sad, we have to admit that they do have a point.

Even after all the attention given to the recent alcohol related

deaths, it is still happening. We keep thinking it won’t happen to

us, that we will know when to stop, but sometimes things don’t work

out the way we plan them to.

Yes, we are in college, and yes, we should free our restraints,

live a little and even damn the man; but isn’t it possible to do

that without drinking ourselves to the point of no return? Can’t we

let go enough to run wild, but still have a grip on things so we

don’t lose control? I know there are people out there who know

their limits, but don’t you think the students who passed away

thought they did too?

It is the times when we are blinded by our strong-minded side,

or when we fail to recognize our weaknesses, that we push it too

far. So remember to focus on the in-between, to hold on tightly

with one hand to keep you and your values stable, to let the other

dangle to keep you free and flexible, and to allow yourself to hang

by a thread.

 Posted by at 5:00 pm

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