Ben Cox, Guest Writer

When I was 6 years old and just starting at a new school in a new country, I literally had a teacher threaten to leave me in a room full of rats overnight. I was traumatized and terrified of being fresh-meat for large rodents.

Having been the new kid most of my life at various different schools, I can say that PLU did a wonderful, and fortunately rat-less, job welcoming the first-years to campus this year. Warm welcomes abounded to the point that I hardly even felt like fresh-meat. While the NSO programs and activities were awesome, another primary contributing factor to the success was the door-holding atmosphere that permeates campus. People from all over the country, with varying religious, political, and cultural backgrounds all seem to hold doors for, and be kind to one another. Coming from a Minnesotan it means something when I say that people seem genuinely nice here.

However, we often forget just how much of an impact the little things can have. In his song “Biscuits”, AGAPE talks about a boy named Kyle who was planning to take his own life until a stranger greeted him. This simple act changed everything; it saved his life. As current first-year student Alexander Theship-Rosales put it, “Happiness is found in the little things: a quaint pat of the shoulder, a true compliment, a dollar for a pristine pack of peanuts. Even though there are often clouds overhead as one walks along the path of life it only takes a few small courageous beams of sunlight to brighten the way.”

Each of us can be or can share “courageous beams of sunlight” in different ways. Although PLU is incredible as it is, that doesn’t mean that it can’t always be better. I challenge you to find some way to be a little light in somebody’s life every day. Nobody’s perfect, and we all forget to hold that door open once in awhile. However, I firmly believe that making an effort to be consciously kind is the first step towards a better world, and that many hands make light work. Together we can do incredible things, and make this planet, where I intend to live for many more years, a place I want to live in through both rain and shine.

The little things may seem little, but if I’m having a rainy day, a little ‘hello’ goes a long way. Being in Washington we are bound to have rainy days, but let’s continue to make them rat-less, good, rainy days through the little beams of sunlight that can change everything!

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Samantha Lund was the Editor in Chief at The Mast, a student-run newsroom within Pacific Lutheran University, in 2015-16. Lund created Mast Magazine in 2015 to give students a forum for long form news pieces. She could be found writing for Pacific Lutheran University's Marketing and Communication site plu.edu or interning at MOViN 92.9's morning talk show in Seattle. Other places to find her content include: Alaska Airlines blog and website, The News Tribune and The Bremerton Harald.