I mean, seriously, as Nelson Mandela said, “Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure about you.”
I have encouraged you in this column to funk up your life via out-of-the-Pepperdine-box ways such as discovering the joy of nature by camping, the spirituality in simple giving, the enlightenment of driving the open road, the liberty in dancing your song, the freedom of being your bare self and the strength in facing life sans fear.
That is quite a list, if I do say so myself, and I have had quite a year (from whence all these came). So what to leave you with? What else to offer my colleagues before they set out to new adventures, return to old adventures and enjoy youthful summer escapades?
Well, simply by offering you this simple metaphor: sometimes, you just have to take a piss outside. (This goes somewhere good, I promise.) So to begin, I will share with you a story.
It was Spring Break, of course. We were camping on a bank along the Colorado River during an overnight kayaking trip. The only man-made facilities along the river were two outhouses docked at the most popular camping bank (which fortunately we had to ourselves, save one bird-seeking man from Montana).
I had to go potty and when you spend a week camping and road-tripping, civilized methodology slips you. So by civilized instinct, I walked over to the outhouse and opened the door. It was stinky and dirty inside, and I thought, “This is where I want to go to the bathroom?”
No it was not. Why go to the bathroom in a stinky, dirty outhouse when there was something better just a few steps away? I closed the door and walked around the outhouse. There — in a sunny field of bright yellow wildflowers, grass, rocks and lizards playing, overlooking a big blue river tucked away in majestic mountains under a vast blue sky — was the most beautiful bathroom I have ever used.So what exactly does this have to do with you? Well, let me further implore. There is only a month of school left (yikes!), and I want to encourage you to “take a piss outside.”
Replace the outhouse in my story with your own outhouse — the institution, rules, expectations, etc. — that you automatically walk to or accept as the only place where your nature calls you. And now walk around it to something even greater.
To those of you carrying freshman rank, I urge you to look beyond the box in front of you and realize the existing possibilities that make this world go ‘round. To you middle people like me, start going for your big dreams.
Do something you have never done before. Do something you have always wanted to do before. Do something you never dreamed of doing before and discover the big mountain and blue river waiting just on the other side.
And to those of you soon-to-be surviving on your own income, I encourage you to go out with a bang! Sure, you may be stressed about senior thesis, graduate school, future careers, etc.; however, I bid you to set that aside for a moment and live like you are in college. Now, I do not suggest tossing aside your studies or responsibilities, but I am suggesting you to not let this chance to live out your heart’s desire pass you by.
Go naked under your graduation robe, teepee the campus (wait, did Isay that?), climb that tall mountain, capture that shooting star. I think by now you get my drift, however cheesy it may be.
Essentially, there is really only one month of classes remaining in the school year. Do not let a stinky, dirty, old outhouse stand in your way of what is beautiful, what is good and what is glorious. And that is exactly why I implore you to go big or go home!