If I don’t do it, who will?

If I don’t do it, who will?

When I dare to be POWERFUL, to use my STRENGTH in the service of my VISION, then it becomes LESS and less important whether I am AFRAID. –Audre Lorde

You know when you get that feeling that you have to fess up to something, even though you know you could slip by without getting caught? Or when you see someone being picked on, and you know you have to do something or you’ll lose sleep for days. Or finding that wallet and knowing $60 would help you out a lot but you just CAN’T… Its not even that you are a “good person”- for me its more selfish, I just wouldn’t be able to live with myself, I’d be uncomfortable in my own skin. And that’s hard, because I am my own best friend, and worst enemy….

That is my battle with my future career- that has chosen me, I have not chosen it.

And if I don’t do it, who will?

I guess I should have seen it in the cards- the daughter of an English migrant, escaping from economic hardship to secure a safer future from his children- me. Wonder what he would have thought back then that all his struggle to come to America would result in his stubborn and strong headed daughter (just like the American woman he married- so he’s still to blame) would then turn and go in search of the worlds darkest places, much darker than where he had came from. Luckily, he tells me everyday he’s proud of me.

And my mother. Who’s never lived a day for herself. Worked to support her family and when we stable enough, went to work for those whom nobody else was concerned with- migrant family youth in rural Eastern Washington, miserable in the dead of winter, miserable in the dead of summer but pleasant enough in between. And despite her 70 hour work weeks, she still feels she isn’t doing enough.

Its me. It my turn. If I don’t do it, who will?

In researching Humanitarian Assistance to Refugees and Internally Displaced Persons, I ran across an analogy to help the reader empathize with the 42 millions of displaced persons in the world today. The analogy went- “Imagine that your house has burned to the ground and you and your family are forced to find somewhere to go for food, water and shelter. You wouldn’t care where you ended up, as long as it was safe.” Well, this wasn’t hard to imagine as I’ve been in exactly that situation, but blessedly, I had neighbors with open arms and warm water to wash the conditioner out of my hair as I fled the shower of a burning house, and the warmth of my second home just around the corner- grandma’s house.

The other 42 million are in obviously, much more dire circumstances, and who am I to think I could make even a chip of a difference in a situation so seemingly hopeless, but if I don’t do it, who will? And blessedly, Peace Corps has taught me that even the smallest accomplishment is worth the months of hard work- especially in the eyes of the people who have nothing, ask for nothing but will give you anything. Who am I not to try?

Am I scared? Yes. But more with a fear that if I don’t do this, I may never be able to live with myself. And honestly, at this point, I’m more scared of the math section of the GRE than of Africa- where, as much as I try to deny, is probably be where I’ll end up. Please pray, wish, hope, om, that I continue to have my strength in the service of my vision to not be afraid.

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