30 April 2010
Day 34: Watership Down
I love watching Hazel develop from an outsider in his warren into a leader of his own group of misfit rabbits. Unfortunately, a lot of people don't get the chance to really develop leadership skills or act as leaders within their area of expertise. This is a damn shame because it makes you grow as a person and realize what your limitations are. Everyone has some limited leadership skills based on what they're naturally good at, it's only a matter of speaking up when those abilities are needed for the task at hand. It's just that many of us don't get to use these abilities or we speak up about them because there are so damned many of us, and therefore someone is bound to be better at something than we are. Or at least that's we think.
Hazel probably wouldn't have done much of anything in his original warren. He is obviously capable of making good decisions for his small clan, but without the opportunity to lead he likely would have been just another rabbit in the hole.
I sort of felt like just another rabbit at Antioch until I was asked by a couple of friends to run as coordinator of Dialogia (philosophy club). I had no intention of running philosophy club, and I didn't think I would be good at it for several reasons. Namely, I don't have a background in philosophy at all and while I had taken a few classes here and there, my understanding of some of the core ideas was rudimentary at best. However, I am a master at planning and I can clean the hell out of a room and keep it clean (if I don't have to live in it). So I took up the challenge and I had a great time doing it.
There were fights of course, mostly with other political bodies on campus. For some reason everyone on one of the councils had issues with giving us funding, despite the fact we had already been voted in as an Independent Group and had a right to that funding. It was also very difficult to balance my two jobs on campus (as library assistant and art model), my three to four classes, and doing research for my senior project and eventually writing the damn thing. But I work extremely well under pressure, especially for the first year or so. I just wish that everyone had had the opportunity to feel how I felt watching Dialogia grow from one of the more obscure groups on campus to one of the most vocal and active. I wish I could do it all over again.
Richard Adams will be celebrating his 90th birthday on May 9th, 2010. The reading of Watership Down was not planned to coincide, but I thought I would mention it since it was so close. Let's send the man birthday cards! Address provided below:
c/o Author mail, 7th Floor
10 East 53rd Street, New York, NY 10022