What is the nature of man? John Donne once wrote, “No man is an island entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main; if a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe is the less.” This is some heavy stuff. Basically, John is just cribbing from when Michael Jackson sang, “You are not alone / I am here with you / Though we’re far apart / You’re always in my heart / But you are not alone / ‘Lone, ‘lone / Why, ‘lone.”
Thanks for that, Michael.
Law school can sometimes feel like an exercise in fear and loathing. And you will be somewhere around the topic of estoppel on the edge of sanity when the coffee finally begins to take hold of your addled brain. You’ll remember saying something like, “I feel the distinction between using estoppel as a sword and a shield is making me lightheaded; maybe you should explain again…” And suddenly there will be a terrible roar all around you and the sky will be full of what looks like a flock of robed judiciary, all swooping and screeching and diving around your seat. Okay. That’s enough.
It’s important to love people unconditionally. This is hard, though. Especially when you’re frantically competing against these same people to be ranked on a metric of, here’s a fact pattern riddled with grammatical errors and logical inconsistencies and you have 3 hours to justify your million-dollar legal career that potentially hangs in the balance. But the alternative is even more horrible—letting an island-woman drift aimlessly in the deep blue sea of law school without a friendly face to get her through the day.
Reach out and say hi to someone you wouldn’t normally have thought to talk to. Be kind. Don’t be quick to judge them. Learn to be comfortable in your skin. Speak up in class! Listen to what others have to say and try to relate to them and understand why they might have come to hold their position instead of jumping to quick antagonist conclusions. The more you can put yourself into a positive mental headspace by loving and accepting unconditionally the people around you, the better you’ll feel about every other aspect of your life. I’m being real and chill as heck here. Just ease up on yourself and others.
Meanness stems from insecurity and fear. So throw away your insecurities and your fears at the door of Allard Hall. The unconditional love that you can summon up the courage to give to the world will be repaid tenfold (if not by the world, then by me).
Brandon McCartney, alias Lil B (look up the etymology of alias), put it succinctly when he wrote, “We have a chance to build a world filled with Positive / Love / Possibility / Freedom, and / Self-acceptance.” He also wrote, “We all did weird stuff. Let it go.”
That stuck with me.