A Non-Conformist Mind, A Reflective Mind

by Sophia Neppel

This fall term is already almost half over and still I find myself thinking back to the first week of classes, particularly to the table that uOSFL had during Clubs’ Week.

If I have ever experienced anything truly out of the ordinary in my university career, it has always taken place at one of our club tables. I’m not sure why, but maybe it’s because that is when we stand in public as pro-lifers, making ourselves available for dialogue with passersby. But that’s another set of stories for another time.

At the moment, I would like to focus on an exchange that I had with a friend that my sister brought around to our table that first week. They are both first-years, so you can imagine how exciting it must be for them to be experiencing university life for the first time: nothing would be more exhilarating than walking down the bustling pedestrian walkway, surrounded by a teeming multitude of clubs and fellow students. Surprise… stop… “hey, look, it’s my sister at a table, let’s say hi.” So they stop and she introduces us. After exchanging the words that people who meet for the first time exchange, plus a few more, he asked what the club that I was representing was about.

I proceeded to introduce him to the club and told him what we were about. He was surprised, in a reflective sort of way. I could tell that the issue of abortion was not new to him, that it had been weighed in his mind before, and that he had not yet become complacent towards it… smart kid. He said that he liked to consider abortion from two sides, the pregnant woman’s and that of the foetus she carried. He could see both perspectives and sympathize with each. He had not settled on a position: he could see how a woman could have an abortion because she found herself in a position she didn’t want to be in, but at the same time he felt sad that a life would be ended, would be no more, would never grow and experience life as others do. He was reasoning backwards, starting with what life would be like as an adult and thinking that the aborted would never have that, and it saddened him: how could a life that has come into being just be gotten rid of, undone, ended?

The exchange gave me hope because it showed me that there are young people out there, products of society (we could say), who are not conformists: they are able to reflect on highly controversial issues with an independent mind.

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