Tuesday, June 19, 2012
Saving Starfish One at a Time
Each day I feel like the children are a little more comfortable. Today we worked on the power of smile and laughter, and the kids had a ton of fun decorating sunglasses and making kites. Day by day these children leave a print on my heart and I can only hope we're doing the same. My professor told us a story at the beginning of our trip about a boy who walked along the sea shore picking up star fish, tossing them back into the ocean, one by one. Another person stopped the boy to ask why he was doing it because he wouldn't make a difference, and he said sure he would. He would help this one, and he picked up a star fish and tossed it in the ocean, saving its life, and he'd help this one, and he picked up another. He went along, one by one, helping as many star fish as he could. I realize now, why my professor shared this story with us. She told us in all the international work she does, sometimes it feels this way, but what she didn't mention, was the bittersweet feeling within it. It is a wonderful feeling to help that one starfish, and the next one or two that you are able, and it fills you with happiness, but it's hard not to want to help so much more, whether it be more time or more people, the feeling of wanting to give more resides within me, and I know when this trip is over, I will have to seek a different way of helping. I will not be able to have the hands on interaction in which such wonderful relationships have been created these past couple weeks. Being present while with the children is easy, but staying in the present after the volunteer work is done is harder. It's easier to think about next week when I will be gone, and this is where the bittersweet feelings come back.