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Choose your battles

Observer Viewpoint | Tuesday, September 20, 2005

To all those concerned with The Shirt or the Candle Advertisement:

This year, The Shirt was met with unprecedented controversy upon its release. The Observer has been filled with articles and editorials condemning The Shirt, suggesting alternatives and encouraging students to take a stand on one side of the issue or the other. My response to this is: wear it or don’t wear it, but does it really matter either way?

The newest Notre Dame television advertisement, the Candle ad, has also caused a bit of controversy. Some people say they love it, some people say they hate it. It represents the University, our University, yes, but it will be forgotten. Outside our bubble known as Notre Dame, I am sure the ad went nearly unnoticed.

I truly believe that activism is a wonderful thing; standing up and sharing your opinions and beliefs, and even trying to get others to join in with you in your fight is noble. Giving people a reason get behind you and make a change is great; but it’s just a shirt, and it’s just an advertisement.

When picking battles, we must choose cautiously. We need to deduce rationally the consequences of our actions and choose not to get caught up in inconsequential debates. Would the issue that Jesus would have stood for have been over a shirt or an ad? There are so many worthy issues out there that we can fight for. Why not fight for something that direly needs our attention, such as the victims of the recent hurricane? Why is it that once we get here, we seem to get caught up in this Notre Dame bubble that prevents us from seeing how petty these issues really are?

So, I say to my fellow students: Stand up! Fight for what you believe in! But please choose wisely; don’t get blinded with what may seem like an urgent matter now, but in the very near future may seem quite a bit less important. In the end, we will all receive a lot more satisfaction when we use our time and energy fighting for issues of a little more importance.

Claire SlossfreshmanMcGlinn HallSept. 19