Thursday, June 18, 2009

Dom, you will be missed

He left way too soon. But he made an impact on me in the short time I knew him.

Dominick Gircius was a classmate of mine in the Social Justice master's degree program at Marygrove College, and he passed away suddenly on June 4. He leaves behind a wife and 8 year old daughter, along with scores or relatives, friends and colleagues. I hope I was among his friends, as I consider him a friend. I trust he's in a better place.

I will miss Dominick both for what he was and what he wanted to do. He was one of the most passionate members of my social justice cohort, despite the fact that his conservative views were often counter to the liberal leanings of the course presenters. He would often remark that he was the lone Republican voice in a course of study I sometimes refer to as "social justice for Democrats."

Yet Dominick was determined to soak up everything the discipline had to offer him like a sponge. He read everything that instructors suggested and then some, he told me, even though he had a reading challenge to overcome. I say he overcame it, but know it was a perpetual struggle to do so. The last conversation I had with him, less than a week prior to his death, he talked about disputing an A- he had received in a prior course.

The quest for social justice is also never ending. If you don't know, social justice is the balance between power and inaction, as the result of suppression, apathy, lack of knowledge, or other factors that contribute to society's failure to act against those with influence.

His passing is especially important to me because at a time when more people are suffering because of our nation's economic mess and other ills, we need all hands on deck. Dominick not only wanted to become a social justice advocate, he wanted to train future advocates, as a college professor. Alas, that will not happen now, and the world is worse off for that fact.

Hey Dominick, I know you are reading this, you will be missed. Not only by those who knew you, but by those you could have impacted. They would have, in turn, helped so many others. That is truly a tragedy

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