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Markkula Center for Applied Ethics

Varun, Senior



Taylor Berry

Varun considers himself to be a listener. However, when he feels comfortable be that at work, or with friends he turns into a talker who is open to talk about anything from sports, politics, food and more.

Varun, like others, is a person who feels out his surroundings before he feels comfortable enough to voice his opinions. When asked about his thoughts on the makeup of listeners and speakers at SCU, he says “here at SCU there is a good mix but the scale would lean more towards speakers, while stating that at times people don’t want to listen.” It’s similar to the top down approach that we are seeing in our nation today. Instead of listening to everyone, at times people feel as if they are little people this cycle of who can be the loudest and who can have the wildest most opinion in the room.

When asked to name a time when someone or something changed his mind, Varun laughed and stated that over the weekend he listened to SZA’s album CNTRL again after his friend convinced him to have another turn at it. So Varun did just that. He found time to sit down and really listen to the music. This simple action defines Varun. He listens. His action is not out of the norm for him. Varun always tries his best to hear other people's viewpoints and opinions. He admits that at times he’s been wrong and being wrong is not as scary as a person may think “Admitting that one is wrong isn’t wrong.”

When asked the question “What’s one thing people don’t know about you?”, Varun responded that he never truly feels welcome or comfortable. He has made a few friends but not that many because he says he never feels welcome. We may be able to change this feeling of not fitting in if those who are usually listeners have the courage to speak up and those who are always the talkers take a second and let those with softer but just as powerful voices speak. Bottom line, we as a community need to become better listeners.

When asked what advice he has for someone who feels the same way he does, Varun says he would tell them nothing is wrong with being more open…don’t think you're too cool for school. Varun says everyone is going through stuff. If you peel away the differences, you will realize that we all are dealing with some of the same stuff.  More important when you set our differences aside, you will find out that we have a lot in common with each other.

When asked what he wants people to know about him, Varun says “I’m not just the person who walks around with headphones in and my head down….make a choice and do it (have a conversation) give a little and take a little from a conversation in class, when in line talk to someone, or when you bump into someone while walking to and from class.  

It is just that easy, we just need to make the effort.

Oct 16, 2017

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