Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Hooked

A recent article (February 17) in America magazine made me more aware of the meaning of “hooking up.”  It no longer means hooking a big fish after many casts from the shore at South Cape Beach and watching the water explode with the fury of a striped bass hooked through the lip and thrashing. 

 It now means, according to Anna Nussbaum Keating, a “disassociation of love and sex.”  She wrote: “Many undergraduates have chosen to avoid romantic relationships during college entirely in favor of “hooking up” no strings attached…Because the sex occurs outside of committed relationships and alcohol is involved, hookup culture can quickly lead to a culture of sexual assault.  Without love or friendship, we are left with the language of an economic exchange, the sexual partner as service provider..."  She continued, “One woman describes the man she regularly sleeps with in this way: ‘We don’t really like each other in person, sober.  We literally can’t sit down and have coffee.” 

Keating then emphasized, “If we spend the first half of our lives looking out for ourselves and our careers while treating other people like disposable objects that exist to serve our needs, that will influence our characters.  Later, if we decide to get married and have children, our spouse, children and co-workers, who interact on a daily basis with a selfish person will suffer...We spend our lives accruing honors trying to prove that we have value, when what truly makes us happy is to contribute to our communities in a meaningful way, to love and to be loved.”

I’ve always told my children who are now adults – and I still tell them – life and happiness boils down to two things.  Without them – to love and to be loved – loneliness creeps in and takes hold making us angry, resentful, and just plain sad.   That’s why it’s so important for each of us to reach out to someone and to make them aware that they are important – that someone cares for them.

For this reason, I mention Father Frederici of St John the Evangelist, Pocasset (parish where I served for about 6 years before returning to Christ the King) who is reaching out to incoming freshmen this summer (story in March 16 issue of The Anchor) (theanchor@anchornews.org).  He and Deacon Frank Lucca (both chaplains at UMass Dartmouth) with a team of 12 young men and women trained peer ministers offer support, faith-sharing programs, and much more. 

Perhaps their program and their sharing will help students better understand the very real perils of alcohol; avoid “hooking up;” and, instead, get hooked on real relationships fostering respect, trust, and selfless behavior.

Deacon David Pierce

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