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Cougars & Mustangs 

As the buildings that stood so high and smug disassembled brick-by-brick, atom-by-atom, to be blown away by an unfeeling wind into a slowly fading sky, mankind will be faced with a final question. Was it worth it? It’s something to consider at any stage of life, and the moment before it ends is no exception. To any beings who read these words after we are all gone, I sadly cannot answer on humanity’s behalf. If there were a prevailing answer—and I am not of the opinion that there is—I would not be confident enough to believe it a “yes.”

My kind readers, you may not believe the world is going to end tonight. You may believe that all will go as planned, with Christmas right around the corner. You may not even believe in Christmas, in Christ Himself, in God! And you know what, that’s OK. I’m not here to make any mob-pressured judgments of you for your beliefs. But I hope that you believe in who you are. And I hope that you believe in what you’re doing.

Another semester of college at Cuesta has come and gone, and I am here to offer you a gift. A Christmas gift, if you will. I am forgoing the usual dates of events this week, as to be honest, you don’t need them. You are occupied already with family, or with the fact that you are dead. My boss cannot dock my pay for this departure, as I’m an intern. That’s not a complaint, though—I do this job because I love to do it. And that’s where my gift comes in.

My gift to you, dear reader, is a simple, pointed echo of the desperate sound reverberating across the halls of our existence—the sound that reaches from Montana to Japan to the International Space Station to the Antarctic to our little town. Was it worth it? Because if you aren’t sure you’re doing what your soul screams to do, if your heart is not in your work, if you aren’t sure you’re pursuing your true calling in life, then do yourself a favor and make a note of that. You aren’t alone. Don’t cage yourself into thinking—into believing—that you’re stuck where you are.

One of the great things about going to college is the opportunity to explore. You take that welding class. You talk to that girl. You ask thought-provoking questions in your youth group. You’re human, and you have to live with yourself and your decisions; for at least as long as your heart is beating—maybe longer! Try not to be your own enemy.

I know it’s unorthodox writing this here, but I’d argue it’s more important than any choir concert—and faithful readers know how highly I value those. Anyway, the world is burning up as I write this, so there’s not a lot that can be done about it now. While the ultimate question trickles into our ears as we are consumed in flames, I hope we can all answer “yes” with a confident smile. For what it’s worth, congratulations on completing your finals, Cougars. For what it’s worth, merry Christmas. And for what it’s worth, thank you for giving me the honor of being alive with you.

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