To the Editors of the Crimson:
On Wednesday, I sat in 2 Divinity Ave. Room 18 and got sick. The first 15 minutes of class consisted of a discussion of what should be done about class on Monday, which is both Pope Day and Yom Kippur. A show of hands displayed the fact that between 30 and 40 per cent of the class would not be able to attend the lecture on Monday, and would appreciate the class being moved to Friday. This seemed reasonable to me.
It was then suggested that a vote be taken as to how many people in the class would prefer to meet on Monday instead of Friday, as it was a pain to go to lecture on Friday. This, after all, was a democracy. To my astonishment, half the class raised raised its hand. This half of the class was in essence saying that it would prefer for 30 to 40 per cent of the class to miss a lecture completely, rather than drag themselves to a lecture at noon on Friday. I found that display a disgusting and utter lack of consideration.
My definition of consideration is going through minor inconvenience to the disproportionate relief or aid of someone else. A considerate able-bodied man or woman will give up his or her seat in a public bus to a pregnant woman because she can make better use of it. A considerate person will hold open the door for another whose arms are full, because it is an easy thing to do--much easier in terms of total convenience than forcing the carrier to drop his load, open the door by himself, pick up his load and proceed. A considerate student will go to class on Friday rather than Monday so that 30 to 40 per cent of his classmates can attend.
At an institution like Harvard, where the freedom of the individual is so prized and fought for, at an institution whose members are chosen for and take pride in their uniqueness, how could such a grossly selfish infringement of others' rights be seriously considered? Is our own liberty so inviolate that we cannot accomodate in any way, no matter how trivial, to allow for the liberties of others? Can we be so engrossed in the perusal of our own thing that we not only do neglect, but feel it is our right to neglect, the things of others?
If we want our own liberties safeguarded, we must help to safeguard the liberties of others. This cannot occur when personal convenience comes before consideration, as it did in class today.
Ironically, the class was Moral Reasoning 11--Ethics. I sincerely hope that the 50 per cent of the class who voted for their convenience without any consideration for the most important beliefs of their classmates, chose to take ethics because they felt they needed them, as indeed they do, and that this self-selected group of selfish individuals is not characteristic of the entire University. I also hope that by the end of Moral Reasoning 11, were another vote to be taken, consideration would win out over convenience. --Michael Werner '82
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