Viewpoint: It’s your duty to be an informed citizen

Dominic Edwards_CTAugust 21, 2014-6 FTW2
Dominic Edwards

By Dominic Edwards
Student Body President

The Gospels relay Jesus’ capacity to speak the truth in love. As He went into a Jewish synagogue, Jesus was met by a man with a shriveled hand. When He healed the man, He was met with accusations of impropriety and criminal behavior. Jesus turned to the Pharisees and said, “Is it lawful on the Sabbath to do good or to do harm, to save life or to kill?” In this way, He displayed an example of reasoned humility combined with faultless truth.

As members of the That Good Ol’ Baylor Line, we must pursue our convictions with an understanding and an appreciation for the beliefs, and responses of others. By no means, though, should this pursuit be absent of boldness or courage.

We are representatives of our caring community – a community where we should voice our opinions in a thoughtful and intentional manner which bespeaks a desire to show brotherly love to others. We must strive to be better citizens of our city, of our state, of our country and of our world.

In our city, it is our duty to be cognizant of the matters facing us not just during our time here, but also of those matters that will impact the way in which we return to our institution’s home. The Waco City Council, dozens of non-profit organizations and hundreds of churches all offer us opportunities to come alongside our community.

In our state, it is our duty to seek to understand the concerns of various cultures and socio-economic backgrounds, so we might be able to compassionately convey our attitudes and feelings. The Texas State Legislature, state-wide newspapers, and culturally diverse chambers of commerce each provide avenues to get informed and stay up-to-date in the ever-evolving landscape.

In our country, it is our duty to stay abreast of current events, and then utilize our knowledge to actively participate in national discussions. We are all affected by events past our state borders. We must seek out sources which go beyond our social media feeds, sources which provide a holistic representation of complex issues.

In our world, it is our duty to be aware of the historical and provocative nature of religious liberty. Sameness of belief is not necessary to establish a respectful atmosphere. In fact, our differences should give us more reason to engage each other in discussion and discovery. The opportunity to travel, whether it be service-minded, academically focused, or socially motivated, allows us to diversify our experiences.

On each of these levels, our institution is committed to preparing us for worldwide leadership and service. As such, every student at Baylor must meet that commitment with a sense of ownership. It is our own civic and social development at stake. I implore each of you to stay informed via wide-ranging news sources, both those you agree with and those you do not.

I encourage each of you to get involved at any level you can outside of the bounds of our campus. Explore a semester away in Washington, D.C., or in another country. Pursue service opportunities in both near and far communities. Utilize your talents through international and domestic mission trips.

But above all, never stop questioning or seeking knowledge to inform your opinions. With full dexterity of thought and accuracy of information, go out into the world and fling your green and gold afar.

Dominic Edwards is a senior marketing major from Arlington. He is the student body president for the 2014-2015 academic year.