I still remember the first time I ever talked to Johnnie. He was helping plan a philanthropy for his fraternity, and he called me after I had volunteered to do stand up comedy at the event. He was so enthusiastic, that I had a hard time understanding him. Johnnie had never heard my routine before, but he was so excited and complimentary that he made me feel like I was Jerry Seinfeld, or some other famous comedian.
It’s so easy to lose perspective. It’s so easy to complain out of habit, to get frustrated when things don’t go perfectly. We have our waiter make a mistake with an order and respond like they’ve committed some type of wartime atrocity.
We complain and we get bitter. I think it’s not because the things about which we complain are so important, but because complaining becomes our comfort zone. Instead of just being happy and finding joy in everyday life, we treat anger like a warm blanket and wrap ourselves in it.
I was out to dinner with my family this evening. The conversation swirled around various topics, but I was mostly in a different world, thinking of the deaths of three young sorority sisters in Alpha Xi Delta and I struggled to muster up much of an appetite to eat my meal. At a couple points, for a brief moment, I thought that I might have a warm tear trickle down my cheek, but I was able to hold it in. Like a broken record, I continually find myself muttering “it’s so tragic, this is just so sad.”
For the current undergraduates at Bowling Green, I don’t think Greek life will ever look quite the same. An event this monumental can have a way of dividing time; there was time before the Alpha Xi Delta tragedy, but now the Greek community lives in a world after the tragedy.