As I get ready to matriculate from friends the long list of ‘last time i do ____’ gets longer and longer and as I go through that list I also notice some of the habits and traditions i ave made around service and serving also falling into my list of ‘lasts.’ Every year on thanksgiving throughout high school my family has volunteered for the Bowery mission soup kitchen, cooking and serving traditional thanksgiving treats for hundreds and thousands of individuals and families as part of the Bowery Mission’s biggest event each year. While leaving friends in and of itself does not stop me from continuing this tradition, that I am leaving this city and home very much does affect that opportunity for family bonding in the form of service. I am going to miss specifically these habitual service experiences, the ones that weren’t about logging service hours or rushing to fulfill a requirement at the end of May. And per the mission of the service department I have attributed value and consistency to my service activities beyond what is simply asked of me. The service program has been a true success in my case in developing a somewhat socially conscious student, if not always for the benefit of others than at least for the benefit of myself.
Over spring break I went along with several of my classmates to Jordan. During our trip we spent several days learning about the scarcity of water throughout the region and how the political issues involving Israel, the Palestinian territories, Syria and Jordan affect the ability to make regional arrangements and agreements. We spent a lot of time reviewing how any efforts made on either side were impractical and self-serving.
I feel like i have a better sense of how politics and inflated ego affect the progression of worthy causes and the allocation of necessities. Sometimes it is not just about understanding what the right thing to do is or what the necessary thing to do is. Often, the realities of the world interfere with our better intentions and the false divisions we place between ourselves only serve to lead to mutual destruction. Both sides are harmed by a lack of cooperation and are incapable of tackling their issues independently. i learned from this experience that the world is more complicated than some Friends utopia where everyone loves each other and theres a perpetual drum circle.