In this latest edition of Bwog’s profiles of friendly faces around campus, Sagacity Bureau Chief Mahrah Taufique interviews a reluctant-to-be-interviewed Pascale, the wise man of John Jay security

Walk into John Jay, and if Pascale Kabore is sitting at the security desk, you will be greeted like a long-lost friend. He cracks a slow smile that spreads across his face until he is absolutely beaming, and students feel that he is truly happy to see you. Even if he’s never met them before.

This certain sincerity and genuine happiness that seems to be always about him may come from his commitment to serve, something he takes extremely seriously. In fact, his humility goes so far that he declined to be interviewed because he feels that being recognized would defeat the purpose of his work. “I am here to serve,” he says, “not to be honored.” He insists that students are under the wrong impression: “Any good that I may have inadvertently done is thanks to God – I was just an instrument. You are writing about the wrong person.” Nevertheless, he did offer some valuable nuggets of wisdom, meditations on life, and even a little background on himself.

Although he is originally from Burkina Faso, Pascale insists that he is really from everywhere. “The problem with people is that they think of external, superficial things. A few years ago, a student asked me if being black ever bothered me, and I laughed because I hadn’t even thought about it. I don’t think in terms of skin color.” He further believes that these kind of factual details are less telling about a person than the way in which they relate to the world. External details such as a person’s race or age are inconsequential to him.

Pascale says that people should think less about borders and other superficial divisions. Instead, they should listen to their “Inner Spirit” in order to make true connections with each other. He is often disappointed when students give each other labels by forming organizations and dividing themselves from their peers. “Why do you have to draw lines around yourselves and put yourselves in little boxes?” he asks. “When you think about it, we’re really all the same.”

He is also very concerned that students look so stressed around midterms and finals. “You are carrying heavy books and heavy hearts. You have to realize that you are above the external. Be above your work.” He agrees, of course, that “you should study and succeed. But don’t let your exams crush you. You control them.” And remember, these days, control is best expressed through YouTube.