There are a lot of causes in the world. Good causes, or bad situations, that need our attention. Sometimes I feel overwhelmed by all of the things that I am supposed to care about and feel, as a young person, as part of the generation that will inherit many of these problems, that I, personally, am in charge of fixing them all. This is, of course, ludicrous, insane even. For instance, a year ago I took a literature and the environment class, and, after the unit on food went through a series of crazy dietary changes, including trying to stop eating products made with corn (which if you didn’t know, is almost all food), becoming a vegetarian (a fickle attempt at best), and not eating farm raised fish (sushi, enough said).
On beginning this internship with the Global Refugee Center, I experienced similar feelings. I began to research the many different refugee situations, war-torn nations, and humanitarian crises that affect millions of lives every single day, yet go unnoticed by millions more. How could one college intern, or even one local non-profit make a difference in the tidal wave of world problems?
I therefore decided that my best course of action was to look away. To focus on what good we can do at the GRC. We can help our clients learn English, find jobs, help their children get an education, and maybe make our local community more involved in the well being of its newest citizens.
While these are worthy goals all, they are not the whole picture, they don’t encompass the full range of responsibilities of an organization like the Global Refugee Center.
Thus far, this blog has focused on my experiences of the day to day workings of the GRC, the small victories, the ordinary. I’d like to widen the depth of focus and begin looking at the big issues facing the diverse population of refugees represented by the GRC’s clients.
With this in mind, I’d like to recall a bit of wisdom from the professor of my literature and the environment class. Whenever we’d watch a documentary or read a book with some disturbing information about food or pollution or land issues, she would always say you can’t unlearn something, you can choose to ignore it or let it inform your thinking and your beliefs in a positive way, even if the information is negative. Remembering this, I’m committing to research the issues that face our world today, talk about it openly in this blog, and let it positively inform my thinking about the day to day that I’ve already embraced at the GRC.