Thursday, April 22, 2010


If you make an effort to make one person smile every day for the rest of your life, think of the amount of lives that you can impact in a positive way. Most of us are blessed enough to make someone smile every day without effort throughout childhood, so even if you only lived to be 50, that is 18,250 days that you have to make someone smile. If you live to be 90, that is 32,850 days. That's a lot of smiles. And then what if they pass on those smiles... or you make more than one person smile that day? You efforts are being increased exponentially. Now think about if you’re doing more than making them smile. What if you’re doing something that is actually improving their life, even if it just is for that day? Little things, even the cliché things. Holding a door open, helping a grandma carry something, buying a homeless man a sandwich. Now think about something bigger. Something that will change a person’s entire life. I try to think of many examples..vaccines...clean water..healthy food, but the one most important example that lives in my soul is that of education. I suppose if we all had a ‘flag to fly’ that would be mine.

I recently finished reading Three Cups of Tea, the story of one of the most incredible humans that I have ever read about, and what he is doing to change the world. He is building schools for children in the most volatile area of our world, thus cultivating peace through education and trying to save children before the Taliban reaches them and fills their minds with hatred and killing. This man, Greg Mortenson, is the closest example that I can find to the kind of human that I want to be, and he is doing the work that I dream of doing on a daily basis. Greg builds schools for children who otherwise would be attempting to learn math by writing in the dirt with sticks. Children who are so eager to learn, that they repeat everything he says just so they can learn more words. Here is all the info, do yourself and others a favor :)
In America, public school is free and in abundance… yet is taken for granted by so many. Parents sometimes don’t see the value, so they don’t teach their children the value. On the other side of the world, there are little girls who are in a tunnel so dark that the only light they see is the one within themselves, and they will do anything they possibly can to be able to ignite it.

The upcoming Peace Corps experience obviously is on my mind every day. I wonder where I’ll be, what I’ll be living in, what kind of work I’m actually going to be doing…etc. I of course will perform to the highest of my abilities in any role that I am given, but working with an educational organization would make my heart sing the loudest for sure:) Through our education in the states, I think that we are exposed to global issues in a very technical way, making some of the most important issues seem like a logistical problem rather than a human problem. I think it’s hard sometimes for people to not think of suffering humans as statistics rather than individuals who need help. Because we’re taught in numbers… numbers of humans that are affected by an umbrella issue. Not in stories of individuals, the reason for their situation or what changes could be made to rectify or begin to escape from that situation towards a better life. We don’t learn about those things until later. Why…because the people writing curriculum think that children ‘can’t handle it’ until a certain age? Children are becoming more and more evolved as time goes on, and information is a billion times more available now than it ever was. So why hasn’t curriculum evolved as well? If we teach kids more about what is really going on (of course in an age appropriate way), would that not give them years of head start on developing and implementing solutions to the problems that they are going to face in their lifetime? We ‘shelter’ them through conservative curriculum, and they grow into naïve adults… and given the amount of people that actually smile about Sarah Palin and the bullshit that comes out of her mouth, I don’t think I need to elaborate on that one.

An abrupt end, I know. Just wanted to put that out there:)

Peace and love,

Emily Jo