17 4 / 2012
“Didn’t say ‘be loved’. That requires too much compromise. If one changes one’s looks, personality and values, one can be loved by anyone.
Rather, I exhort you to love another human being. It may seem odd for me to tell you this. You may expect it to happen naturally, without deliberation. That is false. Modern society is anti-love. We’ve taken a microscope to everyone to bring out their flaws and shortcomings. It far easier to find a reason not to love someone, than otherwise. Rejection requires only one reason. Love requires complete acceptance. It is hard work – the only kind of work that I find palatable.
Loving someone has great benefits. There is admiration, learning, attraction and something which, for the want of a better word, we call happiness. In loving someone, we become inspired to better ourselves in every way. We learn the truth worthlessness of material things. We celebrate being human. Loving is good for the soul.
Loving someone is therefore very important, and it is also important to choose the right person. Despite popular culture, love doesn’t happen by chance, at first sight, across a crowded dance floor. It grows slowly, sinking roots first before branching and blossoming. It is not a silly weed, but a mighty tree that weathers every storm.
You will find, that when you have someone to love, that the face is less important than the brain, and the body is less important than the heart.”
04 4 / 2012
01 2 / 2012
01 2 / 2012
23 1 / 2012
After learning in my Opinion Writing class that freedom of the press is limited in Italy and that in the Italian justice system you are guilt until proven innocent, an appreciation for America’s justice system and the Bill of Rights deeply develops. Too often in America we can get caught up in the trivial everyday political and social problems. Most Americans can name a ton of things they don’t like about America, or would like to change. But it isn’t until you travel 5,000 miles that you realize how unique our country is. How near perfect it is. You come to understand why hundreds of thousands of people stand outside of embassies everyday to get a visa, cross the border illegally, or spend a lifetime dreaming of a life in America. Because there simply is no place like it.
While I reside in Rome for the next couple months, I can share in the Roman experience for better and for worst. But I am fortunate and proud to possess an American passport and being a citizen of the United States of America. And frankly I don’t apologize for it!
22 1 / 2012
Another aspect of Roman life that makes me feel uncomfortable and yearn for America, is the significant presence of law enforcement everywhere. It gives you the feeling that you live in a police state, a V for Vendetta world. It seems at every corner there are a group of officers from the Carabinieri, Polizia di Stato, Provinciale, or Municpale. The intense presence surpasses the feeling of security, verging on the feeling of being monitored and watched at every move. The idea of a true rebellion ever occurring in the street seems unfeasible. Anything happening without the knowledge or the approval of the government appears inconceivable.
22 1 / 2012
Part of the preparation has come with the feeling of home sickness. And when I say home sickness I refer to the longing for America. In the last 11 days I’ve reaffirmed my beliefs on why I’m proud to be an American and proud to live in New York. From the diversity of the cuisine to the freedoms we enjoy.
Unfortunately, after eating pasta and pizza for several days, all day, you simply want a meal that does not have red sauce! Being a native New Yorker, I’ve been spoiled with the diversity of culture, people, and cuisine. Regularly, the biggest question of the day was what was for dinner - Italian, Chinese, Spanish, French, Japanese or simply Burgers and Fries. Here in Rome its simply Italian. And after a while every meal seems identical. So my roommate and friend, Adam, and I have been on a quest for any food that isn’t Italian! Which is iconic because we came to study abroad in Italy for the Italian food. But the thought of simply being limited to one cuisine makes me feel uncomfortable, claustrophobic.