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What can love do at Parkway South?

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For my sixth and final book review for the Treaty, I feel it is necessary to leave Parkway South with an enthusiastic encouragement to those who remain to read my favorite book of all time — Love Does by Bob Goff.

This month, as many of my fellow seniors can relate, I’ve been reflecting a little too much on my time here at South. It’s interesting, because what I’ve been focusing on has not been the rollercoaster ride of my GPA, nor how much I’ve learned in class over the years. Instead, only faces pass through my mind. Faces of close friends and the convenient “I’ll See You In Chem!” friends. Faces of teachers who have made me cry and teachers who give me a reason to walk through the doors each day. My only thought in these last few weeks of school is, “Did I make these people feel loved and appreciated enough?”

So, go ahead. Ask me, “Why, Liv? Why should you care about whether or not people knew you appreciated them?” Yes, I know I probably sound crazy. Bob Goff sure did when I read about his life in his memoir Love Does.

Bob Goff, on paper, is a simple man. In Love Does, he explains that he worked as a lawyer for 25 years, and is married to the woman of his dreams, to whom he lovingly refers in the book as “Sweet Maria”. He grew up in California and went to San Diego State University and got his law degree from University of San Diego. But as Goff continued to explain his life, I realized there was something more extraordinary in him than his career and achievement. He pursued things differently. He went all-in when in law school and in pursuing his wife. He took every opportunity seriously, even though he might not have anything to gain out of it. At one point, Goff even let a random man he met on the street propose to his fiance in his beautiful backyard. The craziest thing about him is that he leaves his actual phone number at the back of the book, just in case you want to chat. My friend’s sister texted him once, and he actually texted her back!

That’s when I realized something: Bob Goff let his love for people direct his life. It sounds crazy at first, but after you read Love Does, you’ll understand. Goff’s love for people took him places. After twenty-five years, he quit his lawyer gig and began writing books and becoming a Christian speaker, traveling all over the world. He now goes to Uganda every 100 days to work for his non-profit organization, Restore International, which works to give imprisoned children fair trials by talking to judges and making appearances in court rooms.  

However, Goff’s point is not to go quit your job or to drop out of school just to travel around the world. His only call-to-action is this: love people differently. He encourages you to get out of your box and to have conversations with random people you had never talked to before, to truly listen, and to make people feel loved in the best way you can.

I think in a world where politics and violence are tearing people apart, I think Parkway South could use a couple more of those Love-Doers.

Although I may be a graduating senior, nothing would make me happier than knowing the people sticking around have given a chance to this life-changing book. But even if you don’t, here is my challenge to you: be more like love.  Love doesn’t have to be as extraordinary as Bob Goff, but love does go out of comfort zones. Love does find the courage to include the shy people in class. Love does smile at people passing in the hallway. Love does cheer on teams and performing groups. Love does smile and say thank you when papers are passed down the row in class.Love does take chances in starting new clubs and going to new try-outs. Love does invite new people to eat lunch with them. Love does write helpful and kind teachers thank you notes at the end of the semester. Love does let other cars in the parking lot go ahead of them.

So, yes, love does sound crazy, but love does change lives. Most of all, love does, and will, change the halls of Parkway South.

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What can love do at Parkway South?