I came onto Alternative Spring Break as a very last minute addition to the team. It was all incredibly bittersweet, because my oncoming signified the unfortunate circumstance that another deserving person was unable to attend this thought-provoking trip. Although it is only day two, I have tried incredibly hard thus far to form bonds with those I do not know and to make my presence count. I'm no Kendall Valente, but I can sure as heck try my hardest to make those around me feel comfortable and valued as an ASB member, and more importantly, as a person.
There is no doubt that bonding while performing service is an astounding thing. Doing what you love, loving what you do, and doing it all with those you can call your friends sounds like a dream come true. However, I am also cognizant that these bonds do not define the trip we are taking. The bonds serve as a guide, a sense of comfort. The true definition of our trip is the work we are doing, and what we take away from our work. If we look back at this trip and think of only the memories we made with ASB members, what have we really accomplished? Sure, we made new friends, but what about the act of serving? We all have different takeaways in situations, but overall the crux of our ASB trip is to give back to others and to show the world that there is a helping hand present where one may least expect it.
We all aim to make connections and form meaningful and lasting bonds. This will (no doubt) continue once we return from Oklahoma and resume our "normal" lives. For now, let us pick up that hammer, rake, shovel, or paintbrush. I know while I am here the takeaway every day won't be "Who did I hang out with today?", but rather "What sort of positive impact did I make on others' lives today?".
"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has"
Class of 2014