Dear Villanova student,
Do you see the Earth?
As a Villanovan, I know that the outdoors is often only a means of getting around from building to building. The ten minutes of free time in between class is rarely spent commenting on the fresh air or the coloration of leaves. I know that hours are spent in Falvey, isolated from all possible distractions and forms of life, including the nature that exists beyond its brick walls. I know that Villanovans are so involved in an overwhelming multitude of important organizations and causes that they often forget to take care of themselves, let alone other living things.
Nevertheless, my question remains the same: do you see the Earth? I would sadly argue that we, as a community, often do not.
I fear that the great demands and pressures of college have led us to lose touch with the environmental call that was held when we were young. Try to recall the blissful nights you spent running barefoot through the backyards of your neighborhood as the sky turned a warm pink hue, shrieking with happiness as you delighted in the Earth’s glory for hours on end; the times you spent stooped over an anthill or a budding flower, marveling in solemn, childlike wonder at the great magnificence of nature. When did this change? When did we stop seeing the Earth?
Perhaps it is the imposition of technology into our lives, a powerful entity that is no match for the Earth’s meek and gracious demeanor. We have oversaturated ourselves in science and technology such that the earth is now insufficient to meet all our demands, and we are hurtling towards a complete dependence on artificial institutions in the future. Worse, our desensitization to the Earth’s pain and needs, propagated by an increasingly politicized world, the unending dissatisfaction with our economic and capitalistic growth, and a popularized throwaway culture has led to a greedy and insensitive exploitation of the Earth’s limited resources. Our Earth cries out to us, but we smother and stifle her pleas in favor of our own selfish wants and desires.
Veritas, Unitas, and Caritas are the seal of our school. Therefore, I urgently ask you to employ these values when considering your environmental ethic. We must be truthful with ourselves when identifying and recognizing our current sustainable habits in the dining halls and dorms. We must understand and empathize with our unity to all other living plants and animals on and off campus who share the same home as us. We must demonstrate love and gratitude to the Earth for all the good that we have received from her, by treating her with the same respect and tenderness that she has shown us each day on this beautiful campus. Once we collectively begin to see the Earth, we will finally be taking a step towards securing a better future for our planet and embodying what it means to truly be a Villanovan.
Class of ‘23