Thomas Jefferson once said “Do you want to know who you are? Don't ask. Act! Action will delineate and define you.”
A quote that I normally would have called cheesy and moved on has reached a new perspective in my eyes after the actions I witnessed last night.
Maybe this situation has me so shaken up because it is the first time I have seen genuine inhumanity unfold right in front of me, or maybe it was my fellow co-workers statement of “They are like animals and need to be treated as such or else they will come back.” … either way, this is why Jefferson’s quote has caught my eye. For this statement and the actions that followed, such as trying to charge a homeless woman 75 cents for ice, have delineated and defined my co-worker in such a lucid manner it has led to asking myself questions. Questions such as “Who else, or actually better yet, how many others are there in the world that share this ability to carry such an inhumane mindset?”
Nonetheless, after this situation unfolded and questions began popping up left and right in my head, I thought of this project and how you expressed your beliefs of how important it is to help others. And although I am sure you already know this, but you are completely right Dr. Soldani. When the project was first assigned I listened as fellow peers moaned and used certain language I am not going to repeat, but just like my co-worker’s distasteful actions caught my attention, the responses and or actions to this project made me realize something. You see, Dr. Soldani, what I quickly discovered over the huffs and puffs of this assignment is that how it wasn’t a surprise to hear these sounds of disgust; however, it was a shock to be given an assignment that doesn’t revolve around ourselves. And honestly, I believe that in itself is saying something on how giving back to others has been taught and become a “yeah, you should do it but if you don’t want to, no one will blame you”.
Thus, while I was sitting in the post office parking lot filling my box to Afghanistan, I began to think about the responses from my peers which of course just led to asking myself more questions…. questions such as (see below) …
· “I wonder if the soldiers wait in anticipation on deliveries like this box”
· “How do they handle being away from their families for so long, especially on the holidays?”
· “Do they ever wonder if their sacrifice for our country has become such a norm that they feel underappreciated?”
· “I wonder how many are cute and single soldiers this box is going to”
Now, although some of them can easily be answered such as the last question that will be answered considering I wrote my Instagram username on the Thank You card I gave them…...there are still some questions that I believe simply cannot be answered nor understood if you aren’t in someone else’s position. Which brings me back to my co-worker trying to charge a homeless woman 75 cents for a cup of ice. No one in that restaurant knows why nor how she got to where she is, why has it become an “okay” thing to do to judge and turn her away (i.e. charge her for ice when you know she doesn’t have the money) based on where the woman is now?
Life is a journey full of mistakes that carry their own individual consequences and lead people to down certain paths but as a society no matter how rich or poor one may be, I believe the subtle undertone of helping others “yeah, you should do it but if you don’t want to, no one will blame you” is crushing the humanity and kindness that can be shared. Therefore, with this project in mind, the situation at work, and the responses from my peers have all together delineated and defined my questions and their answers… the answer is to “Act!” as Jefferson stated. Dr. Soldani, you have already started this off by requiring us millennials to do something that isn’t for or about us while allowing some of us realize how we need to do more while we are young and able thus, I am vowing right here and now on this word document… and then probably to my mom so she realizes I am the best daughter she has… that while I am still young and can do something, I am going act. With my actions including
· Going to the soup kitchen during winter break with my dad’s station
· Helping the homeless of Tallahassee (if I know they are for sure homeless because one time I got cursed out when I tired giving food and water to just a pair of construction workers ahah whoops)
· Going back to my old high school and sitting down with my mom (leader of the student body of said high school) and my former principle to discuss and establish a program that will primarily focus on young high school students giving back to the community….and a legit one, not like one of those clubs students “join” just so they can have it on their transcripts.