Assistant Dean of Students for Substance Education
Wellness Center, Joyner House
"Be the change you want to see in the world." Mahatma Ghandi
I selected the quote from Mahatma Ghandi - "Be the change you want to see in the world" - because of the powerful message it carries and the direct correlation it has to our focus - substance use. When it comes to not escaping life through alcohol consumption or drug use, for example, we must be the change we want to see in the world. We, ourselves, must take responsibility for our thoughts and behaviors and demonstrate responsible decision-making. Students capable of taking the road less traveled, willingly put themselves out there to be an inspiration to others and a foundation for future growth. In order for real change to occur, we must 'all' take this seriously and break free from the bondage alcohol and drugs, or any addiction can have on our lives. We must be the change we want to see in the world.
It is important to know yourself, not because someone else told you it is important, but because understanding yourself is the key to building successful relationships with all the people in your life. In confidence, you can begin your introspection with a careful and intelligent inquiry. Faith in me is not required and please do not view me as an authority. I have nothing to teach you except how to begin to be your own teacher--inquiring into yourself, not isolating but becoming aware of the total field of who you are as an individual within the collective. Talking about and exploring our challenges in life promotes wellness and well-being, which is why I encourage referrals and for students to visit me. I will work with each student and explore other resources available on campus that may benefit him. My office is located on the first floor of the Dean of Students building (Blake A), so please feel free to call (434.223.6318), email (email@example.com), or facebook (Shawn White) to make an appointment.
Also, please invest a few minutes reading and thinking about the quote below to gain a glimpse of insight into what I see at the root of our struggles as Americans and as members of the Hampden-Sydney College community.
"We see throughout the world extremes of poverty and riches, abundance and at the same time starvation; we have class distinction and racial hatred, the stupidity of nationalism and the appalling cruelty of war. There is exploitation of man by man...there is anxiety, confusion, hopelessness, frustration.
We all see this. It is part of our daily life. Caught up in the wheel of suffering, if you are at all thoughtful you must have asked yourself how these human problems can be solved. Either you are conscious of the chaotic state of the world, or you are completely asleep, living in a fantastic world, in an illusion. If you are aware, you must be grappling with these problems. In trying to solve them, some turn to experts for their solution, and follow their ideas and theories. Gradually they form themselves into an exclusive body, and thus they come into conflict with other experts and their parties; and the individual merely becomes a tool in the hands of the group or of the expert. Or you try to solve these problems by following a particular system, which, if you carefully examine it, becomes merely another means of exploiting the individual. Or you think that to change all this cruelty and horror there must be a mass movement, a collective action.
Now the idea of a mass movement becomes merely a catch word if you, the individual, who are part of the mass, do not understand your true function. True collective action can take place only when you, the individual, who are also the mass, are also awake and take the full responsibility for your action without compulsion.
Please bear in mind that I am not giving you a system of philosophy which you can follow blindly, but I am trying to awaken the desire for true and intelligent fulfillment, which alone can bring about happy order and peace in the world.
There can be fundamental and lasting change in the world, there can be love and intelligent fulfillment, only when you wake up and begin to free yourself from the net of illusions, the many illusions which you have created about yourself through fear. When the mind frees itself from these hindrances, when there is that deep, inward, voluntary change, then only can there be true, lasting, collective action, in which there can be no compulsion."
- Krishnamurti, Jiddu. Total Freedom: The Essential Krishnamurti. New York: HarperCollins Publishers, 1996.