Monthly Letter from the Editor

Happy 2018, Germies!

I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about how I want to approach this new year, and I find the answer is with intention. More than just coming up with New Years Resolutions to check off for a few months and then forget about, I want to encourage us all to move through 2018 with this idea in mind: How can I help others?

I find this answer is easier than we may think. Volunteering at a local animal shelter, taking your time to talk with a homeless person instead of ignoring them, spending your money on GoFundMe’s and other charities that aid the less fortunate both at home and abroad are all possibilities. In fact, the possibilities are nearly endless, and with the creativity that our readers routinely display, I’m confident that you will all think of unique and exciting ideas!

David Copperfield by Charles Dickens is not a book one usually associates with the idea of altruism, as a majority of the characters that the titular character interacts with are awful and selfish. However, Charles Dickens was an activist. His father spent time imprisoned in Marshalsea Debtors Prison in England when Dickens was a boy. Debtors prisons were awful places where poor people who couldn’t pay off their debts (because they were, well, poor) were locked away without the possibility of working to pay off said debts. This was one of the many nearly insurmountable obstacles that the poor in Great Britain faced, as laws were specifically made to make and keep the poor impoverished.

All of this made a great impression on Dickens, who would spend most of his adult years writing and directing efforts to both bring awareness to and alleviate the plight of the poor. David Copperfield was one such book that directly criticized the English government for how it handled and legislated the impoverished workers. And it is, I believe, an important work to carry us through the beginning of 2018. Be intentional in how you interact with people. Be aware of those around you. Be mindful of the suffering of others and what you, personally, can do to help.

I have every confidence that in doing so, we will emerge from the wreckage of 2017 with greater purpose and faith in our fellow man, which we sorely, sorely need.

Jordan Gripenwaldt