Friday, January 24, 2014

What We Risk

January 24, 2014

What We Risk

As those assisting in ushering in God’s kingdom, we are called to awareness of the world around us. This awareness is not only academic and intellectual, but also emotional, a passionate connection to the others on this earth.
I sometimes worry that we as college students, in our pursuit of education, begin to operate like mindless drones, void of feeling, as we frantically cram our heads with facts. We distance ourselves from our subjects in our haste to find evidence, construct an argument, turn in an assignment, and forget, already dreading the next due date.
             Earlier this week, I turned into such a drone as I researched several different terms used for Americans of Mexican descent: Latino, Hispanic, Chicano, and Mexican-American. The sources I found lamented the injustices this group has suffered over the decades. Noting the theme of trials Mexican-Americans have endured, I turned to a new topic, desperate to finish my research in the small space of time I had.
             Having stumbled across the term “illegals” in my research, I decided to search for current articles that use this dehumanizing term for those who have entered the United States illegally. As I browsed through heated discussions about immigration, my drone mentality was jolted. Passion for those who face uncertain futures flooded my senses.
I remembered why I cared about immigration reform in the first place. Although there is no obvious solution, people who are affected by policy matter deeply to me. Beyond facts, beyond knowledge, beyond efficiency, regard for people should be my main concern.
           And so in all we as stewards of the earth do, we must not lose ourselves in the strained monotony of our daily lives. Rather, I hope we can remember why we work so hard, why we invest in others, why we envision a better world.
           Because at the end of the day, the ability to feel, to have a heart that breaks for others- that is what truly matters.

-Anna Lindner

Service-Learning Center Partnerships Coordinator