Monday, February 9, 2009


Chapter 3 really made me realize all of the obstacles we face on the road of social activism. As we discussed some during the last class meeting most of us feel that in giving up our time to better our community that it should come easily. This is far from reality. We had all faced challenges from the rejection of organizations, family and friends. The key word to this chapter is perseverance. Persevere means "to persist in anything undertaken; maintain a purpose in spite of difficulty, obstacles, or discouragement".

I dont think that the focus here should be on the messages that we have received on social activism, I believe the focus should be on that no matter what those messages say, we as a group are willing to strive through the good and the bad and see the bigger picture, making our world a better place. I was once told that the difference between a successful person and others is not in the lack of strength, not a lack of knowledge, but rather in a lack of will.

There are many obstacles that I have personally overcome in my life. Things I have faced have forced many others in the same situations to give up on life. Instead of giving up I have found my calling, helping others. I believe that the abilities that I have that can help a particular cause include my listening skills in addition to my life experiences. I believe that the hardships that I have been through should not be supressed but shared with others in order to give them insight. To help them persevere and find their purpose.


Derick the Crowell said...

While I am one to occasionally say that "anything worth doing will be dificult," I think too there is something to be said for greater ease and facilitation of service.

See, for sure the benefits for the individual are better when service takes more of a commitment or is more fraught with obstacles. However, this value to the individual is secondary to the value of the collective.

Or in other words, it is the deed that is important, not the doer.

If there are people in the population (our instant-gratification-loving, media-inundated, and oft-distracted society) who would help if only it were easier, than more good is performed than would have been had the requirement been more demanding.

Like many things there is a spectrum of appropriateness here, which is good; there are real challenges to be faced that can act as the blacksmith's forge, strengthening the skills and soul of the earnest civil activist.
However, I feel there is also room, or that room can be made for, those who might help a bit here and there if it isn't too inconvenient for them.

For me that was one of the lessons of this most recent chapter, that any resource that can serve to alleviate suffering is a good one, and that all sorts of contributions are beneficial.

This is not to say that I disagree with you at all, and certainly perseverance is crucial to anyone passionately facing such obstacles as those that a civil activist might face; I simply aim to point out that while this is a hugely productive point of view to service, it is not the only one that can cause more service to be done.

Alyssa Huff said...

I love your quote "the difference between a successful person and others is not in the lack of strength, not a lack of knowledge, but rather in a lack of will."

I totally agree! So many people are to lazy to take that first step as we have been discussing in some of the other blogs. It's not that the person lacks the know-how, but rather the will to take that first step into the unknown.

Anna Mann said...

I really like the quote about successful people. And I agree with it completely. It usually is just the lack of will or determination that stops people.

I also noticed that your profile picture is of a waterfall. Did you by chance take that picture from the Grand Canyon? I went hiking down there to some gorgeous waterfalls last year and that one looks similar to the ones I saw.

Dr. V said...

You almost made me cry Jessica. I know some of your story and you have the strength and perseverance to become a nurse but it's those "obstacles" that get in our way. I know that when I wanted to start this alternative spring break, I was told there wasn't any $$ but other programs kept growing on this campus. Every year I pursued it until finally I applied for a grant and received funding. It took more than six years but now we have this successful program which I hope has changed students lives and helped them to become social activists.