Perspective

There are moments in life when you realize that there is a bigger picture than the one you are seeing. For the past two weeks I have been running to be President of the University Students’ Council at Western and have admittedly been caught up in the process. I don’t think that there is necessarily anything wrong with being caught up in the election process but I think that I have been moving so fast that I have lost some perspective. Today I was given a heavy dose of perspective in the most positive and moving way.

At 3:30pm I made my way to the Western Rec Centre to meet my friend Brianna Murphy who is the President of a club called Making Waves. Making Waves at Western is affiliated with Making Waves London which is a not-for-profit student initiative providing affordable and accessible one-on-one swimming instruction to children with special needs. Western students make up the base of instructors and dedicate their time to the kids who come to swim. As I walked around the pool I was overcome by an overwhelming sense that what I was looking at was ‘it’. What I mean is that the emotion I felt and saw around me was what Western is all about.

I’m somewhat hesitant to share this experience during the election because I know that I will be accused of politicizing an experience that was anything but political, but I just couldn’t avoid mentioning the way that today brought me back to what is truly important. Throughout the campaign, certain candidates have taken shots at people from different sides and have attempted to galvanize support by saying what the population wants to hear. However, what today reminded me was that the things we should all strive to represent are far bigger than an election and certainly far bigger than some of the petty squabbling that has gone on over the last two weeks. I don’t quite have the words to communicate how I felt today, but I think that I just needed this opportunity to put a voice to my experience.

I hope that you believe me when I say that today provided me with a huge dose of election perspective. I can honestly say that I felt the raw emotion of what it meant to be part of today’s events and that I will not soon forget how refreshing it was to be snapped back to reality. In some ways today was all about the election, but in others the election couldn’t have been farther from my mind. It has been an interesting challenge to attempt to communicate the things that I care about to the student population. I’d like to think that this article is about trying to get others to believe in the value of what I experienced today and that its purpose mimics that of my campaign. I hope that people realize that my campaign has been about trying to get people to care about the things that my team and I care about. If we can’t get across this passion then we won’t win the election. I’ll survive that because at least I will have stayed true to who I am and will have done my best to champion what students think is important. However, no matter how much perspective I have, I still believe that we can win this thing and that it is important to do so because sometimes all that it takes is for one voice to be a driving force behind the things that we care about.

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