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Editorial: Giving Back?

We’ve heard the story—protagonist has special powers, doesn’t know how to use them and a mentor or guide arrives to teach the hero how to succeed. That guide is Gandalf in Lord of the Rings, Mr. Miyagi in Karate Kid, Obi-Wan Kenobi in Star Wars: A New Hope and Clarence the angel in It’s a Wonderful Life. While these characters’ knowledge of orcs and karate is certainly impressive, there is rarely much to know about them beyond that.

Yet in real life, our guides are not such simplistic personalities, and we cannot truly appreciate their wisdom unless we realize that they are actually quite interesting people.

Together Week begins next week at BJU, a time when we students are given the opportunity to give back to the faculty that invest so much into us.

The faculty here all have their own interests and their own dreams. It is so easy us to forget that our faculty have lives outside of academics. Like the child who only realizes her 1st grade teacher doesn’t live at school when she sees him in the grocery store, we are surprised when we hear some faculty members have a passion for oatmeal and others for calligraphy.

Not only do our faculty have interests, but they also have needs. Just as we fight spiritual battles or face financial difficulties, so do our much wiser university counterparts. Each class begins with prayer, often with the teacher soliciting requests from the students, yet we rarely ask the instructor if they have a request. It is foolish to assume that the faculty here are one-dimensional characters such as are found in books and movies.

This Together Week, the student body should give back to the faculty who invest so much into us, sometimes at the expense of their own dreams and desires.

What “giving back” looks like for you will be different from what it looks like for your classmates. You can thank a faculty member who has impacted you. You can pray for your faculty and staff as they manage the transition to the online format after spring break. Simply paying attention to their newly online lectures is another way to show respect to our faculty. With an almost infinite number of ways to thank our faculty and staff, we hope that every student will give back during Together Week.