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Grand Valley State University's Beacon Since 1963, Allendale, MI
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?Coming Together As One – A Rather Cold Tale

By GARRICK SEE

These days, society seems to be totally dependent on individualism and the “me, me, me” attitude that coincides with our modern, technologically advanced way of life in the 21st century. We just don’t seem to click as one like we used to back then when neither of us really had anything but the clothes on our back and the warmth in our eyes.

I’m a victim to that as well because I tend to enjoy being alone and far away from other people’s problems. I didn’t have it in me to care enough about someone else especially when everyone inhabited the selfish aura. However, it only took a recent four-day trip from Malaysia to Grand Rapids to change all of that in me.

After Christmas break, I was well on my way back here from home and my scheduled flight was set to reach here on Sunday night, but it didn’t. As most of you now experience, the dreaded cold that swept the nation was affecting everybody especially in the east coast and it was none more apparent than in an airport.

I have never in my life seen so many angry and frustrated faces on people who are upset over the impending cancellation of flights throughout this harsh weather. People were arguing and even occasionally screaming at airport employees that did not make it easier for a “safe travel.” I, myself, had to stand in long lines hoping to reschedule for a different flight, but that didn’t work as well as they were all cancelled in the end.

So, as my patience wore thin and my face felt gross from this long trip, it only took another flight cancellation to invoke a small sense of unity when myself and a handful of others decided to band together. One of us suggested that we should just drive ourselves from Detroit to Grand Rapids and as we make haste, our little community was born.

Myself included, there was a South African-born man, a Nigerian teddy bear, a bald Mark Strong lookalike, a biomedical engineering sophomore from Michigan and a freshman from Michigan as well with her mom. It was the perfect blend of misfits banding together to get through this horror movie of a nightmare. I even suggested that I’d most likely go off first seeing as the history of horror doesn’t favor people like me too much.

As we set through our 3-hour something drive all the way to Gerald R. Ford airport, we slowly dismembered ourselves and went our separate ways in hopes that we would never had to experience such an experience ever again. It goes to show that even in these dark times, there are still people who would come together in the form of standing very closely to keep warm in an outdoor bus stop while waiting for a shuttle. It’s this experience that one will never forget in his or her lifetime.

Published January 12, 2014 in Global Perspectives

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