by Will Devaney ’23
On Feb. 6, Providence College students got the opportunity to listen to Reverend Justin Lester speak about love and the various forms it presents itself in our daily lives at the “Enough Love to Go Around” event. Lester is the pastor for Congdon Street Baptist Church right here in Providence. He is an adjunct professor at Providence College, as well as a Religious Life Affiliate at Brown University. He came to PC last Thursday to share some advice and speak on his own experiences with his church.
College campuses are busy places—they are the birthplace of countless memories, ideas, and relationships. Lester began his talk by speaking to the students about the importance of fostering healthy and valuable relationships. He highlighted the importance of knowing who you are before you commit yourself to a relationship. He stressed that your values should align with the person that you are in a relationship with, in order to be able to grow as a person with them.
His next talking point covered how loving yourself is necessary in order to love others. “In order to cultivate love, we have to do things that we are passionate about and care about,” said Rev. Lester, “People should consider all of their experiences as an investment towards yourself,” he added. He told the group to be careful with their endeavors, because they make you who you are. Friends, professors, and bosses all contribute to your personal development, so it is important to choose them wisely. Beyond the campus, he told the students that they must choose a job offer that aligns with their personal values. “No is a sentence,” he said, explaining that it is ok to say no without offering an explanation. The pastor explained that we dedicate so much of our time and energy into our careers, so it is important that we undertake jobs that allow us to focus on things that we care about.
The event was held in the Slavin Overlook Lounge and hosted by the NAACP. Students who attended got to enjoy some Insomnia Cookies as they listened. Students definitely took away valuable lessons about college life and life after graduation from Rev. Lester. President of the NAACP chapter, Beah Cyrus ‘22, commented on the talk, “He was lighthearted as he spoke and pretty funny. Students definitely enjoyed the event and he had all of our attention.”