online edition

The Student Newspaper of Hopkins School

    • "Some words of advice"

"Why" Comes From Within

Why are you reading these words right now? We go about the world, delicately imprinting it with our actions and crossing of items on our imaginary checklists. How often do we stop to ponder the true reasons behind our insistence on doing things?
Why are you reading these words right now? We go about the world, delicately imprinting it with our actions and crossing of items on our imaginary checklists. How often do we stop to ponder the true reasons behind our insistence on doing things?

What we do in the hours of each day and in all the years of our lives is important, but not nearly as important as why we choose, consciously or subconsciously, to act.

As students, the why seems unclear. Most of us encounter the world as uncharted waters; we have little conception of our purpose, or of the meaning of life, and so we fnd meaning in fulflling expectations of our parents, teachers, and mentors. Too often in the school setting, satisfying others takes the shape of a toxic obsession over grades that serves to annoy both teachers and students.

This is not a Hopkins problem; this is a side efect of living in a society in which everyone strives towards “success,” that elusive ideal inevitably based upon such extrinsic factors as money and power. Money itself is necessary for basic survival, leading people to be dependent on receiving extrinsic recognition merely to survive. And, in the end, being motivated externally is another way of saying that they are motivated by acceptance of others.

As humans, we live for interaction and love from others, and it is simply too easy to conflate praise with the deep connection with each other that we crave. One’s obsession with grades may not be based in cold-hearted calculation, but rather a hidden yearning for afection and acceptance.

The antithesis to the extrinsic is the intrinsic; the meaning that comes from fulfllment of one’s self, from challenging one’s own mind. The kindling of intrinsic motivation lies all around our campus, in the spark in the eyes of an enthusiastic history teacher, in a sudden epiphany of ecstasy when solving a physics problem.

As children, we possess a little of both. We are motivated both by the intrinsic and the extrinsic, though often it is the extrinsic that seems to be praised and held up most. My dear fellow students and readers: keep the intrinsic close to your heart. No matter the pleasure that derives from materialistic values, internal satisfaction and peace is worth more than all the praise in the world. Find a mooring inside yourself to keep calm and strong when rough waters come your way.

The “what” is ephemeral. The why will carry you through life, and help you live a life of happiness. At least, that is what the books say.
 
Back
Editor in Chief 
Theodore Tellides

Managing Editor 
Katie Broun

News
Sarah Roberts
JR Stauff
Zoe Kim
Julia Kosinski
Features
Connor Pignatello
Izzy Lopez-Kalapir
Lily Meyers
Veronica Yarovinsky

Arts
Ellie Doolittle
Katherine Takoudes
Leah Miller
Op/Ed
Connor Hartigan
Saloni Jain
Simon Bazelon

Sports
Audrey Braun
Alex Hughes
Teddy Glover
Anushree Vashist
Voices
Sara Chung
Saira Munshani
George Kosinski

Editors-at-Large
Olivia Capasso
Elena Savas
Noah Schmeisser
Ziggy Gleason
Casey Gleason
Cartoonists
Melody Parker
Arthur Masiukiwicz

Webmasters
Nina Barandiaran
Arushi Srivastava

Business Managers
Caitlyn Chow
Sophia Fitzsimonds

Faculty Advisers
Elizabeth Gleason
Jennifer Nicolelli
Sorrel Westbrook
The Razor's Edge reflects the opinion of 4/5 of the editorial board and will not be signed. The Razor welcomes letters to the editor but reserves the right to decide which letters to publish, and to edit letters for space reasons. Unsigned letters will not be published, but names may be withheld on request. Letters are subject to the same libel laws as articles. The views expressed in letters are not necessarily those of the editorial board.
     
The Razor,
 an open forum publication, is published monthly during the school year by students of: 
Hopkins School
986 Forest Road
New Haven, CT 06515

Phone: 203.397.1001 x271
Email: jnicolelli@hopkins.edu