Point Park University's Student-Run Newspaper

Point Park Globe

Point Park University's Student-Run Newspaper

Point Park Globe

Point Park University's Student-Run Newspaper

Point Park Globe

Students need to put their survival first and be free

Congratulations, everyone. You’ve made it this far, and you can keep moving forward.

This past week I came to head-on terms with the fact that, yes, obviously everything is a disaster. While everything has been on fire for a long time, it seemed to really exacerbate itself in my personal life.

While in conversation with a Point Park graduate alum, I was met with this quote, “We live in an Evil empire – Aug – and the chocolate we eat is produced with brutally violent child slave labor. Everything is poisoned, enjoy life and counterbalance your virtue signaling signs by being a good and decent person.”

There are multitudes of reasons to feel like you’re a sloth in the world right now: physical health issues, mental health experiences, financial stress and the stress of the 24/7 mass media cycle. We are all under a constant surge of wondering what good we can do. Do my actions really matter? What will my funeral eulogy say about my legacy?

All of these questions boil down to another point made by my teacher in my Honors Introduction to Community Engagement class. You are able to worry about where your food is coming from, what you buy at the store and the ethical processes that entangle themselves in this, but most important is your survival. At the top of the hierarchy is making sure you can live through each day how you want to.

As silly as it may sound, I believe there is great power in the “little treat” online trend. This trend resonates with many people, and it’s not hard to see why. How else are you supposed to get through a day you otherwise might not enjoy without a $7 drink? Yes, that might sound ridiculous, but it isn’t. With how much prices are skyrocketing, the majority of people cannot be expected to live comfortably, even if living a frugal lifestyle. Drink your little drink, buy the food you like, and do what makes you feel better. It might not look the best for your bank account, but if it keeps you alive, put that above all else.

We are all living in a time where criticisms, expectations and praise all run into one another. If something is no longer serving you, release it. We are all able to do the small things. Smile, hold the door open, text someone you miss them, compliment a person’s outfit and listen.

We all need to listen to someone, even if they just want to feel heard. Yes, we can eat ourselves into the oblivion of “there is no ethical consumption under capitalism.” Some people may consider this statement as a simple excuse used by those unable to live completely ethically-sourced lifestyles, but this doesn’t make the reality of it any less true. You can come to terms with the fact that, for most of the companies you buy from, their hands are covered in corporate greed and blood, but you are allowed to see outside of that in order to enjoy your life. It is possible to keep going in today’s era of misinformation, guilt and shaming for not living your entire life ethically. (No one here is).

Students need to realize that as long as they are eating food everyday, hydrating, and walking outside even a little everyday can really benefit their mental and physical health. If something which may be as serious of a commitment as getting a tattoo makes you feel better and you can still afford all your monthly expenses – get that tattoo!

Although it may be challenging, we all have what seem like minuscule ways to thrive under the exploitation of several different groups and populations of people.

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