This one is for all the recently arrived freshmen on campus at UConn. I recently came across this tribute album to Automatic for the People (free to download). The band Bodies of Water covers "Everybody Hurts" (scroll down to the bottom of the page to download the song). Like me, you've probably heard that song so many times you're sick of it. Well, this tribute gives it new life. Here's Bodies of Water commenting on the song. I think this relates perfectly to the need for community and what sharing each other's burdens really feels like:
"Everybody hurts - Take comfort in your friends"
It could be that we're encouraged to take comfort in the fact that our friends are the most prevalent example of mankind living in pain (since they, like everybody else, hurt). Does being reminded of the unexceptional nature of our individual pain assuage it somehow? Maybe … at least if we appreciate the ubiquity of pain we can’t pity ourselves.
It could be that carousing with your friends (and knowing they’re available for carousing) is the most comforting thing about them.
In the end, I think "Don’t throw your hand" is the soundest advice in the song. As bad as you feel and as messed as you are, whatever you take comfort in or don't, just don't start throwing your hand around.
An interesting note: I thought this meant hurling your severed hand, while Meredith thought that it meant waving your hand around spastically, like a baby. Whatever. It's gross and weird.