Monday, March 26, 2007

If that were me...

The following was written by Waldorf student Angela Boris from Columbia Heights, MN.

If that were me…

Everyone has a story. Looking back on my week in Phoenix, I decided I needed to tell my story about it. There are many emotions that come into my head. First of all is a small sadness. I am sad that Spring Break is over, sad that just when new friendships were being built it had to end, and sad that I can no longer stare off at the mountains in the distance and just be in awe. Our last night in phoenix, I sat outside and just though about everything that happened there. There are parts of me that was expecting something else, parts of me that were frustrated and parts of me that just wanted to go home. I realized however that I learned many lessons of this trip, and here is what I have to say.

This trip was an experience. Not just an experience of a new state, a new city and new people, but an experience of sleeping on floors, being patient when all I wanted to do was get going, to keep pushing myself to fill one more box, hammer one more nail, or paint one more section when all I wanted to do was leave, because I was hot, sweaty, sore and tired. It was an experience of meeting people I would have never probably met, not just fellow students and professors from Waldorf, but just people. We had the experience to work with inmates doing community service hours. These people taught me the simple lesson to not judge someone before you get to know them. I know we were all skeptical about working with these people, but at the end of the day we all had new friends.

It was a lesson about how lucky we are. I kept thinking, if I was born somewhere else, if I was in the wrong place at the wrong time, that could have been me. Everyone has a story, and I am glad that I got to hear peoples that I would have never expected.

The one thing that comes to my mind when thinking of this trip is sacrifice. Sacrificing time, energy, showers and a bed. It just amazes me sometimes how selfish people including myself can be. There were days when I know we were all thinking lets hurry up and get done so we can leave. I remember being so mad that our plane was delayed going to phoenix, and I was so hungry when we got there. Thinking about that now, some people don’t even have a house, don’t even have anything to eat. I was hungry for a few hours, while some people are hungry for days on end. It is all about perspective, and we are all so lucky.

Looking back, I realize that its not about how many records we broke at the food bank or of we got done with all our jobs. I had the wrong attitude. It was about giving something of myself, ourselves, with nothing except blisters and memories in return. For most of us on this trip, we weren't here to give fully of ourselves. Its not about getting thanks or looking good in a resume. These are simple little things that humans should do for each other. Its not about just the physicial work we did, but the attitude and heart that goes into it.

I have never seen a group of college kids so willing to go in, work and get a project done. Everyone I was with on this trip had a drive and a passion, and I am grateful that we experienced this together. Let’s challenge ourselves to look beyond the world we live in, outside our little boxes. Lets not be judgmental. We all have a story to share, and we all have a story to listen to. My sister played a song for me one time, and it sticks out in my head now. It is about how we cant live without life’s simple luxuries, and yet there are people out there with no home, no food, no body. It is a song about getting other peoples stories. We are all so lucky and blessed, and lets never forget it. Now go out there in the world, the world beyond Waldorf, Forest City and home. Thank you all for the wonderful experience. Here is that song, it helped me and I hope it helps you too.

If That Were Me

"Where do they go and what do they do?
They're walking on by.
They're looking at you.
Some people stop, some people stare.
But would they help you and do they care?

How did you fall?
Did you fall at all?
Are you happy when you are sleeping underneath the stars?
When it's cold is it your hope that keeps you warm?

A spare bit of change is all that I give.
How is that gonna help when you've got nowhere to live?
Some turn away so they don't see.
I bet you'd look if that were me.

How did you fall?
Did you fall at all?
Is it lonely where you are sleeping in between parked cars?
When it thunders where do you hide from the storm?

Could you ever forgive my self-pity?
When you've got nothing and you're living on the streets of the city.
I couldn't live without my phone.
But you don't even have a home.

How did we fall? Can we get up at all?
Are we happy where we are on our lonely little star?
When it's cold is it your hope that keeps you warm?

Where do they go and what do they do?
They're walking on by. They're looking at you.
They're walking on by. They're looking at you.


No comments: