Editor’s Note: It’s Jacob Ferguson, the Marketing and Social Media Intern for the Northern Illinois University College of Business here! This week we caught up with Bryn Gibson a senior majoring in Business Administration to see just why he holds the doors open for his peers every day.
Can you tell us a little about yourself?
“My name is Bryn Gibson. I am a 23 year old man pursuing a degree in business administration at NIU. I grew up as a home schooler where my mother was my teacher until my senior year in high school. She was a teacher and administrator for a school district and probably the biggest influence in my life. I am a rather simplistic man in that I pursue my version of what Aristotle referred to as “the good life”. What my good life entails is accumulating wisdom, knowledge, close ties and relationships to people, and being genuine to others by being honest and showing every person I meet a general degree of respect. I place respect of my fellow man in high regards. My hobbies include cooking (Eastern Japanese and Western Mediterranean cuisine specifically) , origami, reading, writing, and Japanese martial arts.”
Why do you hold the door open at Barsema Hall? Is Barsema Hall the only place?
“My philosophy for why I hold doors for people is very simple: I care about others. There is a practical and altruistic reason for why I do this. The practical reason is because I more often than not see people distracted through various means, such as talking to someone else, having their hands full, texting or making a call. Through these means of distraction, I see a decent number of people run into the door or can’t open it due to no available hands. So I took it upon myself to try to either ensure that they continue having a good day by removing one minor annoyance from their busy day, or I alleviate said minor annoyance from their bad day making it a little better for them. The altruistic reason is simply because I like to help others from big ways such as volunteer work and tutoring, to very small things like holding the door and smiling at others (I smile a lot because I love to do so and a single smile can be a powerful positive force for someone. More so than most realize). It is part of my never ending pursuit of the good life and becoming a decent person for others. I don’t know as to whether or not I am a good person because that depends on who you ask (as is such with many conversations in life), but I strive for excellence and decency for myself and others, which helps show others that there are decent people in the world and that it’s the right thing to do.
Barsema Hall is not the only place I have done this at. Pretty much at any building on and off campus that I have been to I have held the door for people. I did so at every place I went to since I was three years old.”
Where did this idea come from?
“This idea actually came to me when I was around three years old. I remember seeing other people hold doors for brief moments in the various places I went to, and I decided that I would adopt that philosophy and practice it during my life (I plan to keep going as long as I live). My mother taught me to seek the good that I can do for others and to manifest that good in subtle ways. It’s through this kind of mentality that I try and search for the good in everything I do and always criticize myself as to how I can become better with each thing I do.”
What kind of feedback have you received from students and faculty?
“The feedback from the students and faculty at NIU has been very positive. I do not do this to receive praise from others, but if they want to thank me then that’s their choice and I really do appreciate it. There have been times where doing this has made certain people very uncomfortable, with a few incidents resulting in vulgar feedback and asking me to stop doing it because they took it as a signal that they cannot open the door themselves (which from reading what I wrote previously, that is not even a thought in my mind). But the overall feedback has been very positive. I expected such because the students and faculty at NIU from my experience are very ethical, intelligent, and kind populace. They are rational people who seek to be a positive force for change in the world.”
What other things are you passionate about?
“I am passionate, as many others, about justice and the fair treatment of all. It coincides with my personal philosophy to help manifest that every person has unique qualities and deserve a general level of compassion and respect (essentially, treat them like people who are ends in themselves, rather than a means to an end). Another thing I am passionate about is meritocracy. I believe firmly in working for what you want because it teaches self-discipline, personal growth, and innovation. These things are critical, in my opinion, to the future of reason, compassion, and progress of people. That a person’s value comes not from where they come from, who they are related to, or how much money they make. Rather it’s about one’s work, dedication, reason, and personality should be what determines their value. Essentially let them show you who they are before making conclusions.”
Can we plan to see you during the spring semester?
“I will return to NIU in the spring. I hope to meet more great people as I have since the time I arrived.”