One thing I'm starting to enjoy about being in the Human Services department is learning about myself and how certain things affect my interactions with others. Being in the Child and Youth Care program self-reflection is big part of my assignments. Although it may seem lame and for pansies, yes I used that word, it really does make me more aware of myself and how my thoughts affect my life and therefore others.
Today for example I realized that one of my pet peeves are scratchy, phlegmy voices. My family is going through another basic flu or something and their voices can annoy me at times. Uhh it makes me just want to take over their body so I can clear their throat for them. I hear that's bad for you voice, but spit it out already! I now understand the saying "frog in your throat". Ew. So don't talk to me if your voice is like that... Please.
Although I do enjoy learning stuff about myself, self-reflection is not all fine and dandy. You know the famous quote Uncle Ben told Peter Parker in Spider-man "with great power comes great responsibility"? Well I think it's the same kind of idea with self-reflection. It's one thing to realize the things you struggle with and want to change in your life, it's another thing to actually live it.
There's a song by Ingrid Michealson that touches on this. I really like her voice and the repetition of her choruses, and there's this one song in particular that gets me called "Keep breathing". Some of the lines get me however, and it's sad because I know it's true for myself.
In essence the song:
The storm is calming but I don't mind
People are dying, I close my blinds
All that I know is I'm breathing now
I want to change the world, instead I sleep
I want to believe in more than you and me
All that I know is I'm breathing
All I can do is breathing
All we can do is keep breathing now
The youth ministry that I volunteer at has been coming up with these shirts for the past year and a bit. Their main quote is "because I believe the change must begin with me". I have both of the shirts we've come out with and I wear them pretty frequently. Unfortunatly I've forgotten what that quote means, what it stands for and I've found that they've just become other t-shirts in my wardrobe, instead of being reminders of why and how I should live my life. That's pretty lame.
The thing about change is that it's not easy, you have to do something to get there. You can't just stay in your comfort zone and be stuck where you are. From dictionary.com:
"To CHANGE is to make a material difference so that the thing is distinctly different from what it was." I want this to be my standard. To live a life that's different from what mass media and culture says it should be "because I believe the change must begin with me".
But the majority of the time we fail at this. I hate how people say one thing, and live another. One of my professors refered to this as a dissonance in philosophy and practice (life), how they don't connect when they really should. His example was in the Human Services field. He spoke of how it didn't make sense if we as students were studying to become drug and alcohol advisors for youth while we were getting hammered on the weekends ourselves. That spoke to me. But lately it's been challenging me as well. Doing nothing about the things I believe or see as wrong in the world is just as bad. Having certain standards in faith and beliefs while living a life that doesn't reflect them is wrong itself. And I do that lots.
But now no more of that. No more closing my blinds or changing the channel when I see people who are dying and in great need like in Haiti. No more ignoring the hurt, broken and dying. Sometimes it seems pretty dim as far as hope goes. But I won't give up. There is more I can do, more we can do, besides just breathing. There are lots of hurting people in need. You and I have something to offer. Really. Will you BE THE CHANGE you want to see?
If you've made it this far, thanks, and you win a million points from me. I know I write a lot, a bit too much, but this has just been going around in my head for a bit. Don't settle for anything less than your dreams. It takes one person to make a difference and start change. Be that person.
Alexandra of course...