Often, when I hear someone describe a phenomenal event in their life, they usually begin by saying “I never thought I’d…” or “I never dreamed I would’ve…”
But in saying so, they’ve already sold themselves short, and essentially belittled their ambitions.
When I was recently approached with the opportunity to take flight on one of the most awesome adventures of my life to South Africa, a dream was made possible and a prayer was answered. I’ve always dreamt of applying my talents on a global scale and broadening my understanding of the world around me. I’ve come to realize there is no learning experience more powerful than those that take place outside of the classroom. As Americans, it has become all too commonplace for us to sit back from the comforts of our own homes and seclude ourselves from the world outside of our bubbles. It frustrates me to see Anna Nicole Smith make front-page headlines, while atrocities around the world go unnoticed everyday. But, unfortunately, that’s what sells and what the bulk of our population actually cares about.
Two summers ago, I was fortunate enough to take a trip to Israel. The experience opened my eyes wide. The news I’d been exposed to from the comforts of my couch in America, in front of a TV or behind a newspaper, was only topical on the surface. But after a couple of weeks in the beautiful country, I saw the stories in three-dimension for what they really were. And they weren’t limited to 8″ news briefs in the paper or one-minute packages on the tube. There was life to the numerical figures; a voice to the faces in the crowd. The real stories that meant the most to me were individualized and compelling
I want to unlock similar stories that I know exist within the “three million Zimbabwean immigrants,” the “hundreds subjected to xenophobic attacks,” and those that encompass the wealth of statistics I’ve so meticulously reviewed over the past few weeks. These stories are more than just numbers, stats and figures. They are just as alive as you and I.