All about us

Stop pretending you’re a good person. You aren’t.

I’m not judging you-I’m not a good person, either. This isn’t to say we’re bad people, just?not good.

Good people serve others and care about stuff and, truth be told, you don’t do that. Why? You’re in college. And college is about selfishness.

You go to classes for you. You work for you. You date for you, buy hot clothes for you and straight-iron or put too much gel in your hair?for you.

This is not a flaw in the system-this is the way the system was designed. People like to think that college is the time for you to find yourself, to test your beliefs, to find stronger convictions-but really, that’s all about you, too. You-sticking-it-to-your-parents you-sticking-it-to-the-man you-creating fond memories you can chuckle about over glasses of Sauvignon after you’ve become both your parents and the man.

Even when you squeeze in some service between working and studying and playing, it’s still about you. You are doing things that make you look better to other people-potential employers, admissions officers, etc.

Some people might point out various service organizations on campus, but really, even people who participate in those organizations aren’t spending a significant amount of their time giving to others. If you take service seriously-the way it probably ought to be taken-it will take up way too much time.

We fit service in where we can get the most bang for our buck. Go plant a tree so you can list “Tree Utah” on your rsum. Go spend an afternoon with some bratty kids so you can say you tutored the underprivileged. Organize a philanthropy event so you can show off your multitasking skills.

Could we be doing more? Of course. We could all do more-but we’re in college, and we aren’t going to. People who really spend their time serving others aren’t getting ahead; they’re just treading water. Sure, they’re good people, but they’re going to be poor good people.

Some people try to combine laziness with altruism by making “being good” an easy experience. For example, you can join The One Campaign group on Facebook. You can be compassionate and show everyone how compassionate you are. It’s very efficient. You didn’t even have to shell out two bucks for some lame plastic bracelet.

But being good isn’t supposed to be easy. Being good is hard. Serving people is a pain in the ass because people themselves are a pain in the ass. Caring about the environment and politics and stuff is exhausting-because it’s never going to be good enough. There will always be more to care about.

Right now, there’s a blood drive going on in the Union-and how many of us will walk on by just because we hate needles? OK, sure, some of us might pretend that we just got over a cold so we CAN’T give blood, but give me a break. It’s not like there’s some sort of epidemic that goes around every year right before blood-drive time.

I’d challenge everyone to go give blood, but it would be like shooting fish in a barrel. I’m going to win, and the poor little car-accident victims are going to lose. Ninety-nine percent of U students are not going to give blood, and that’s all there is to it.

So if you can’t be good, at least be honest.

Say it with me: We are letting someone bleed out during surgery because we don’t want to endure a needle prick. We are planting a tree not because we care about the environment, but because we want to get into medical school. We are getting politically involved because it’s the trendy thing to do.

We’re not good people. Thankfully, we’re not really bad people, either. We’re just college students.

And maybe we’ll be good someday-after graduation.

But maybe not.