Everybody love everybody
University students ought to embrace one another’s friendship and love
Growing up in the swamps of Louisiana, I learned a lot of words of wisdom — some wise, some not. You learn how to hunt, cook and be a Southern gentleman. It is only after you leave that you realize that it is much different than other places.
That being said, growing up taught me a very, very important lesson — Everybody Love Everybody (known affectionately as ELE). ELE is my standard for group projects, friendships and basically every interaction I have with people. It is based on mutual respect, shared community and human nature. It is a very simple lesson: Everybody [needs to] Love Everybody.
Something I noticed at U.Va. is that we always work — hard. We know how to have fun after that work is done, but we forget the little things. In the midst of papers, projects, tests, walking to and from class, CIO meetings and doing other “important items on our agenda,” we could all use a little more ELE. Think about it. A few changes make a world of difference.
Say “hello” to people as they pass, make eye contact with a complete stranger on the sidewalk and wave, hug someone you haven’t seen in a while, call a friend to ask them how they are doing, answer those texts and emails you don’t exactly want to answer. Simply put, carry on the spirit of ELE.
ELE is one quality of the University that should not have to be ingrained in stone on our academic buildings or touched upon in an unforgettable lecture. As students and future leaders, we need to build up the U.Va. community. As I near graduation, I hope to leave Mr. Jefferson’s village better off than when I arrived on Grounds. I dare you to try it. See the difference ELE makes in your day at this great university. You might just be surprised. What I have realized is that U.Va. begins to look a lot like my friends and family back home. This is just a tidbit of wisdom from the gumbo-making man of the swamps.
Charlie Miller is a fourth-year trustee.