So with this in mind I thought it would be a good idea to use this activity to reflective on my first 3 weeks. “Self, if you had to choose one word to describe how you were feeling right now, at the end of these first 3 weeks, what would it be?” Inspired.
Over these last 3 weeks, I’ve been touched by the people I’ve met throughout this experience. Almost everyone I’ve met, fellow interns, the CCAO staff, housemates, and even people I’ve seen on the street or at special events, has affected me. I’m inspired by the way they live their lives, with the passion, dedication, and honesty they live it with. Although important and also rewarding, the work we do at CCAO can be can be difficult at times. Reading about the struggles and suffering of others and the amount of disregard some of our world’s governments and people have for their pain on a daily basis can make teatime (the best part of the day) not so enjoyable. Achieving small victories that are few and far between while still knowing there is so much more that can be done can wear on the heart. However, I’ve been inspired by the dedication and concern of the people who are also working for social justice alongside me. One of the first out of office events I went to was a meeting with the Interfaith Working Group on Energy and the Environment. People from many different religious backgrounds, Jews, Catholics and Protestants, came together to discuss environmental issues and what we could do to help solve them. I was so taken aback by the seriousness, concern and sincerity in which they talked about the different issues. It wasn’t so much that they were serious and sincere about their concerns that touched me but it was the fact there wasn’t just one person in the room. There were about 10 people sharing the same feelings and concerns. No one person was alone in this struggle and I took a sense of encouragement and comfort from that. We didn’t come up with any revolutionary plan to cure cancer, fix climate change, and eradicate poverty while kissing small children while we do it. Despite that, it was their small, un-extraordinary expressions of sincerity, concern, and informed dedication that really stuck with me. Since that meeting, I’ve encountered even more informed and concerned people. Young people, older people, people of different races and ethnicities, priests, missionaries, activists, and volunteers. Their knowledge of issues that I don’t know about is inspiring. Their honesty about how hard it is sometimes is inspiring. The fact that they simply continue to live their lives with this honesty and committed concern despite the roadblocks is inspiring. And the fact that no one person is alone in this is perhaps the most inspiring part about it all.
This summer conversations about God in relation to the role we play as advocates for social justice have been frequent. Those that I discuss this with don’t know the answers to all the questions and neither do I, but that’s ok. They don’t know the answers but the fact that they are here with me being just as honest about not knowing and being just as, or many times even more, committed to working together to find a solution is amazing. It’s really quite inspiring.