Are you that type of person who gets the crazy intuitive urge to start new projects every two weeks? That’s me… but with volunteering. As a general rule, when I see something that needs to be done, I do it (or at least I try). When I was ten years old, I was sitting on the couch flipping through the channels on the TV, when I stumbled upon one of those ads with a celebrity holding a starving African child. I sat there and watched the ad replay for a few hours before I made up my mind that I was going to change the world. ha. CHANGE the world. Quite the task for a ten-year-old. As the years went by, I kept the idea in the back of my mind, while continuing to live my sheltered, Catholic-school-girl life. When I came to an age where I could start helping on my own, I set off on various projects. I quickly discovered the all-consuming, joyous feeling you get when you do something for others. This feeling is now my addiction, and I search for it everywhere I go.
I’ve learned that in order to create a change, you must know something about the past and present of the thing you are trying to change. This is where my big struggle begins. I wouldn’t call myself ignorant, but I also would not label myself as fully educated. I have much to learn about the history of this country that I call home, and of the world that I was raised in. But for now, I wake up everyday and think of the people who suffer from starvation, poverty, the effects of war and genocide, of the emotionally disturbed, and of the rest of the people who are fighting their own battles. This blog is about my experience helping others, and my journey to learn more about the best ways to do so. I was once told that I will not create a change by impacting one life at a time. This got me thinking, because if I can not help by doing the “little” things, then what can I do? I’m no politician, so I’m sure as heck not about to change the governments of Rwanda, Somalia, etc. I finally figured out my argument to this criticism when I was reading a book called “Kisses From Katie” the other day. Katie starts her book with the following paragraph:
“People who want to make a difference in the world usually do it, in one way or another. And I’ve noticed something about people who make a difference in the world: They hold the unshakable conviction that individuals are extremely important, that every life matters. They get excited over one smile. They are willing to feed one stomach, educate one mind, and treat one wound. They aren’t determined to revolutionize the world all at once; they are satisfied with small changes. Over time, though, the small changes add up. Sometimes they even transform cities and nations, and yes, the world.”
This girl has her head in the right place. If you’re interested in international community development, pick up a copy of her book. I recommend it, although I’m only half the way through. I’ll leave you with a quote that follows my theme of the day.
You begin saving the world by saving one man at a time; all else is grandiose romanticism or politics.”
— Charles Bukowski