Updated: Jul 30, 2020
sup·port | \ sə-ˈpȯrt
Elon University functions through a mentality of constant commitments. People move with a purpose as they walk the perfectly kept brick pathways.
Stop any student and ask what their plans for the day are. You will most likely hear a response along the lines of “Well I have class at 8, then a couple meetings back to back right after, then I might try to run and grab food and squeeze in some homework before work followed by another class at 3:30 and then I have to volunteer here.”
The hustle and bustle never ceases.
If the commitments never stop, how does one not get overwhelmed?
Fantastic question. To be completely honest, even after spending my past three years here I am still trying to answer it. For everyone, the answer is different.
For me, I feel at peace as I sit at the front desk of the Truitt Center listening to the water trickling down the wall.
I feel at peace when scents of incense from Imam Shane waft through the halls.
I feel at peace in the upstairs Truitt library as I read materials from all religions and the paper pages rustle as I turn them.
I feel at peace when I sit in the Sacred Space listening to the weekly Lumen Numen speaker lighting up the room with personal stories and lessons.
I feel at peace as I sit in the white rocking chairs, entranced in the creaking rhythm of back and forth.
What is it about the Truitt Center that offers this sense of peace?
It is a sense of peace that is indescribable and different for everyone. My sense of peace may be a sense of anxiety for others. It may be a sense of passion or invigoration.
These same feelings are transferable to Interfaith interactions. At the Truitt Center, I am an Interfaith Intern. I am posed with the constant task of engaging, respecting and growing my world views and those of others every single day.
Our intern cohort definition of interfaith is as follows:
“Interfaith is immense effort toward respectfully collaborating with and showing support for other religious, spiritual, and nonreligious individuals and communities. Interfaith is achieved by seeking knowledge, understanding, and common values through vulnerable interactions with the self and others. Interfaith is inevitably working toward religious pluralism.” -Truitt Center Interfaith Interns
Showing support. These two words stand out to me.
Webster-Merriam Dictionary offers a multitude of definitions for the word support. Some of my favorites include the following.
To endure bravely or quietly.
To assist or help.
To provide a basis for the existence or subsistence of.
To hold up or serve as a foundation or prop for.
To keep from fainting, yielding, or losing courage.
To keep (something) going.
One word with so much meaning. The potential impact support can have is mind-boggling.
Support can be offered in many ways and many contexts. Amongst the busyness of Elon, I believe it is important to remember to show support. Support yourself. Support your friends. Support those you may not even know. The sense of support I receive at the Truitt Center is the root of my sense of peace. I am supported to explore and develop my values and views. I have the opportunity to support others in this endeavor as well.
I ask myself, how will I show support?
I will support myself by taking the time I need to maintain a healthy lifestyle physically, emotionally and mentally.
I will support others by listening.
I will support beliefs through respect and engagement.
I will support those struggling by reaching out a helping hand.
I will carry these objectives with me whether that be at Elon, during interfaith work or elsewhere. I want to cherish every moment and find that sense of peace developed through support. Support allows me to give the best of myself to my commitments and to encourage the best of others.