To the Editor:

Inspired by last week’s editorial, I decided to voice my thoughts about something that has irked me for a while now. Over the years, hearing multiple students’ complaints about the parking situation on campus has really underscored to me the value of putting things into perspective.

Yes, it is unfortunate that students are given tickets for trying to park close to where they live and have class. Yes, it is unpleasant to have to walk to class in cold weather, especially if you live in the townhouses. Yes, it is inconvenient for those Village residents, who leave early in the morning for internships, to have to walk to the Regis or Jogues parking lot in order to reach their cars.

As someone who protested the expansion of the Quick Center parking lot last year, I despise the fact that trees had to be removed, especially to make way for a space that remains vacant most of the time. I believe there are smarter ways to allocate parking on campus, and it is certainly valuable to continue to have discussions among administrators, staff, and students about how best to improve the current model.

However, I am not writing to offer any solutions to the parking situation, or to tell you that you are wrong for voicing your concerns. I simply want to remind you to choose your battles wisely.

We often forget how fortunate we are to attend an institution like Fairfield. This was made abundantly clear to me last summer when I spent seven weeks in southern Mexico, working to build a school for children who were eager to learn, and distributing food to people who were literally starving. Many students have gone on similarly amazing immersion and service trips before, so this does not make me special.

But I want to point out how easy it is to get too comfortable within our own lives and to adopt a ‘woe is me’ attitude whenever we are slightly inconvenienced by something. We would enjoy our lives infinitely more if we understood that we do not have it so bad after all.

The State of the Village Report, which examines the world as if it were a village consisting of 100 people, presents us with the following facts that are worth keeping in mind: “If you have food in the refrigerator, clothes on your back, a roof overhead and a place to sleep, you are more comfortable than 75% of the people in this world. If you have money in the bank, in your wallet, and spare change in a dish someplace, you are among the top 8% of the world’s wealthy. If you can read this, you are more blessed than the over two billion people in the world who cannot read at all.”

Not being able to park somewhere on campus may seem like the end of the world, but do not let it prevent you from realizing what truly matters in life.

Sincerely,

Zachary Gross ’12

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