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Truly give thanks this holiday

Thanksgiving is only a few weeks away. Soon, we’ll be sitting at the dinner table surrounded by turkey and mashed potatoes and gravy. The smell of pumpkin pie will be engulfing our homes. But, do we really think about that which we have? Are we really thankful? Or do we take things for granted?

Most of us have our health. We have two eyes and ears that function properly, two hands and legs that function properly and a mouth that produces the sounds we want. We have the ability to come to a prestigious university with some of the brightest minds in the country. We have our own minds that have the ability to change the world as we see it. Yet, are we appreciative?

There are others who would kill to be in the places that we are in now. There are people in Third World countries – and even people within our own country – that are not as fortunate as we are. The ability to go to the Dining Commons and eat as much as we want, the chance to live in dorms that have heat or wear name brand clothes, others – even others we know – don’t have that ability.

There are people in the world who are dying for our electronics, others who are busy picking the fruit that we find at our local grocery store, others still mining for coal or drilling for oil so that we can have the energy we need to continue our lives of waste. We have all the newest cars and the latest cell phones. But how often do we think of the people who make the things we use or wear?

The name brand clothes we wear are often made in sweatshops in Third World countries and brought to the United States to sell because that’s where the profit is. In fact, most of the people who make the clothing and electronics we use will never be able to afford that iPhone or $250 jacket.

Ever considering those in need, but didn’t know where, especially in Amherst? There are a number of places in Amherst where one can go to help those in need. There is a soup kitchen in Amherst at which one or a group can volunteer. Not Bread Alone Soup Kitchen is always in need of volunteers and is a great place for a group of friends or even one person to go to give back to the community. It helps put things in perspective about how people are really living in the community around us.

The Amherst Survival Center is another place one can go to help out. With services like a community kitchen, food pantry and a free store, the Amherst Survival Center helps countless people in the Amherst local community. There are other things needed if one doesn’t have much time. The ASC is also in need of web developers, maintenance people and people to help out with general administration.

The United States is a country where we help those in need. After 9/11 and Hurricane Katrina, the American people stepped up and raised millions of dollars to help those in need. During Hurricane Ike and natural disasters in other countries, Americans have stepped up to help those who needed aid. This is no different. There are people in our own country, in our own community, that need help. It is time that we step up and help those in need.

Helping others isn’t a religious issue or a political issue, it is a human issue. We as humans must be willing to help those who are less fortunate than ourselves. Those who don’t have a meal on their table or a roof over their head, we must be willing to help them. For if we don’t, who will?

If we all sacrificed a meal for those who don’t have them, we would be able to feed thousands of people across the country. If we took the value of one meal swipe and were able to donate that to people suffering in other countries, we would able to feed, house and provide medical equipment for millions of people.

We as college students always have this mindset that we are the future of this world. This simply can’t be the case anymore. We must be the change we want to see in this world. All because things are the way they are, doesn’t mean they should be.

Subhan Tariq is a Collegian columnist. He can be reached at stariq@student.umass.edu.

Comments
3 Responses to “Truly give thanks this holiday”
  1. Pac Man says:

    “We must be the change we want to see in this world.”

    Thanks Gandhi, no, Subhan?, wait, Gandhi said that.

    What the hell !

  2. bill says:

    Many of these Subhan articles have a tender, moralizing flavor to them- maybe he is the next great spiritual leader of this World? Or maybe UMass?

  3. Muddasir says:

    And what, exactly, is wrong with a “moralizing” flavor? Your biting cynicism does not provide an excellent alternative to what Subhan is writing. Perhaps it does have moral underpinning, but so what if he’s writing with a message in mind? Since when did that become a crime?

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