Blog

Blog Author:
Larry Moneta, Vice President for Student Affairs

Dear Duke Families,

As I look out my office window, I have the privilege of seeing our students walking (and rushing) by between classes, meals, meetings and study venues. So many things are apparent on the rare occasion that I get to just pause and admire the passersby. I notice that many seem either immune to the winter chill or in denial about the need to wear warmer clothes! I notice that rarely is anyone walking alone. Students travel in pairs, groups and masses! I notice that some kind of technological device is apparently welded to their ears or their palms (hopefully talking or texting with you). But, I also notice how remarkably different they are, reflecting the substantial and wonderful diversity within the Duke student body.

Authenticity refers to our willingness and ability to operate in congruence with our evolving values, expanding field of interests, and emotional and philosophical (or spiritual) sense of Self. This need not only refer to our individual sense of Self but also our understanding of our Self-in-Community. In short, it refers to living according to our personal Truths.  To be able to live one’s Truths is not simply an obvious ideal.  There is a richness that comes from being able to enjoy authenticity, and not feeling able to do so can lead to some common difficulties including lack of confidence, loneliness, and a somewhat mechanical approach to life that can feel empty at times.

One of last year's seniors (and a former DUWELL intern), Rose O'Connor, was inspired to write this blog in the spring of 2012, her last semester at Duke.  As we approach Thanksgiving time, it seems especially appropriate to consider gratitude and how to appreciate the small things in life...

Submitted by Monika Jingchen Hu

Back in my home country China, seeking help from a professional counselor seems to admit that you are sick and/or mad. The standard way of coping with it is that if you have problems (usually they are considered as things having a short term effect; i.e. they are not supposed to be illness), you should go talk to your family or friends, and naturally as time goes by you will be fine. Hence professional counseling in China is such an undeveloped industry – little supply, and therefore little demand, and the circle goes on.