Readers’ Forum: 9/3/19

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The void of automated selflessness

“Enter to Learn; Go Forth to Serve.” This is the vision proposed by Brigham Young
University. Though honorable, this invitation implies a subtle disconnection between the academic and practical facets of learning. This disconnect is precisely what BYU’s Ballard Center attempts to remedy.

Service is often viewed as an essential component of a Christian lifestyle, as well as a cardinal element in the school application process. Nevertheless, the general tendency is to regard charity as a mere item on one’s checklist. Although this behavior may yield positive results, it inhibits the extraction of meaningful learning experiences from service projects.

A survey study published in 2008 involving 52 high schools and 4,057 students provides compelling evidence that the lack of meaningful connections to charitable activities decreases the probability of long-term commitment to service. Ultimately, the personal impact and longevity of an individual’s involvement with service is determined by the personal significance he or she allocates to charitable opportunities.

Though it is easy to succumb to an automated routine of humanitarian acts, developing projects specifically tailored to personal interests and skills reveals the potentially mutualistic relationship between conceptual learning and application to real-world issues. Over the past 15 years, BYU’s Ballard Center has been providing opportunities for students to meet with advisors connecting them to the resources necessary to develop socially innovative projects within their areas of interest. As more students become involved with the Ballard Center, there will certainly be a more thorough extraction of the remarkable learning opportunities inherent to service projects.

—Isabella Roque
Curitiba, Brazil

Custodial jobs

Every day, Brigham Young University is a battlefield with the Custodians of light driving back the dark and formidable troops that are dust and detritus. Donning their vests and goggles, armed with NABC and mops of resilience, they ride their steed, the new Clarke SA40 20D Disc Floor Scrubber, to victory.

Every. Single. Day.

The population of BYU walks the scenes of the cleansing massacre, largely oblivious to it all. There is no appreciation — only expectations of how everything should look. Like Atlas, custodians carry the weight of the campus on their shoulders. Stairwells are free of dirt. Vestibules bear no trace of mother nature. Under the watchful eyes of the guardians of the cleaning closets, no toilet paper dispenser goes empty. The acknowledgement they deserve is infinite. No staff member can work, teach or prepare to teach in an area that is not regularly maintained. No student can study, work or have fun in a place that isn’t picked up after. Furthermore, unclean places do not invite the Holy Spirit. If there isn’t a change in attitude toward janitors, there will be no one to scrape the hardened toothpaste out of your sink, no one to find your lost items and return them, no one to deodorize your room from forgotten midnight snack remains and certainly no shoulder to cry on when the EFY kids drink all the chocolate milk, again.

What’s the harm in complimenting someone’s work? Custodians don’t clean a water fountain knowing it will be used seconds after finishing because they have to. I encourage you to reach out and help them along. When you pass a custodian, thank them for everything they do. In serving each other, our whole campus will be uplifted in unity, and we will all feel the Spirit of God.

—Ryan Morrow
Stuttgart, Germany

Pro pineapple pizza

Profound questions persist. Does God exist? What is the meaning of life, the universe and everything? Why doesn’t McDonald’s sell hot dogs? Not all questions have answers, but today I give you the most important: pineapple deserves to be on pizza.

A common fruit ninja hides in almost every pizza: the tomato. Can you imagine eating a pizza without the sauce? Would it even be considered pizza or just melted cheese on bread? The fact of the matter is that without the tomato fruit, pizza would cease to be pizza. And, let’s be honest, nobody wants frozen sauce on their sizzling pizza. Frozen tomato sauce would defile a pizza, rendering it inedible. If the tomato sauce does not come warm with the pizza, it will cease to exist as a pizza and transform into an abomination. Now we can logically make the argument that if one fruit serves a vital function on pizza, then another fruit can also be considered a delicious addition.

Pineapple, aside from adding a delicious flavor, also adds nutritional value. Pineapple contains high amounts of vitamin C, vitamin B and trace amounts of adamantium. These are all vital nutrients that the body needs to function. Pirates died due to a lack of vitamin C from a disease called scurvy. So, if you don’t want to lose all your teeth and end up like the pirates, your only viable option is to put pineapple on your pizza.

We may never end the eternal debate on pineapple pizza. My only hope as a poor pineapple pizza petitioner is to enlighten the minds of others so that they may try the delicious combination of pineapple on pizza.

—Brock Thatcher
Henderson, Nevada

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