So as I relax thinking about my beautiful vacation in the Bahamas this past week, a few minutes later only ends in guilt. Guilt that there are people around the world that could never have the experience I just had. With deep thought, I realize that my love for others should not be at the expense of me loving myself. As a Peace Corps Volunteer, I want to share something that I recently grew to understand. I think that guilt for one another who has hardship is nothing but wasted energy. Knowing that we have the power to educate and understand one another while learning from their experiences is a blessing. Do something about the issues, but only if you truly care. If you don't care you won't grow. Learn another language, read about cultures different from yours, be proactive, challenge fears, and LISTEN. History as shown that bad things happen amongst people because they don't listen to one another. Examples include ignoring the devastation slavery has caused, ignoring the discrimination that women have, or ignoring the children who's schools have failed them.
I don't know about anyone else, but I feel as an American, we (and I mean we) unfortuately have a dark history as a country of oppression. Although we are viewed as a free country, we are just as equality viewed as imperfect. Capitalism has bled a line of oppression at the expense of others. Today, we still see the aftermath of our past in front of us. My own family doesn't understand why I'm doing FREE work and not pursuing a better line of work. Our society is a materialistic society. Our society is a capitalistic society. Therefore, it isn't hard to see a person in another country to view us as greedy, selfish, and maybe even cruel people. I hope that my raw perspective of the world spoken to a native in Benin could be of benefit to the both of us. We could be windows for each others curious views about one another's experiences. I know for certain that although I won't be wearing flashy diamonds around my neck, or driving a Bentley, they know that my food is processed at the market before I buy it, and that I have clean water coming from the faucet. Some may see that as rich. So although I may see them as poor with nothing to be happy about, they are richer than me in other ways. To know the name of everyone in your community would be considered a popularity thing in America. To them, it's having an extended family who looks out for you. Or to be the one who actually sees the "fruit of their labor" and see the end results and profits of his/her harvest. I've heard so many negatives about me going to Africa but I look forward to so many more positives. It's almost time for me to leave this small part of the world around me and enter a new world for me to live in soon. I'm looking very forward to it. Now back to Rosetta Stone! LOL!