It’s Day 3 and Florida is as beautiful as ever, but I have developed an internal tension.
Going on this trip with 12 other people (many of which I didn’t know before this journey) and entering into this seemingly whole new world (even within my own country) is challenging me to be more compassionate, understanding, and loving towards those whose backgrounds, worldviews, or general mannerisms completely differ from my own.
This trip is also challenging me to acknowledge various instances of contradiction in the world. There can be good and bad within the same person, company, or community. For example, a person may seem to have it all together on the outside while internally struggling with very intense suffering. A company like Publix may perform generous acts of charity (like giving a grant to a social services group that feeds and clothes the poor) while at the same time, refusing to participate in a program of justice (like the Fair Food program, which implements fairer wages and working conditions for those who provide America with its fruits and vegetables). A community like Immokalee can be paradise (full of bright colors, delicious food, beautiful languages, and warm sunshine) while struggling against a reality of oppression, tension, and fear. A reality in which human beings are denied the most basic rights to work and live in peace. There can be both great joy and great suffering, great goodwill and great lack of integrity within the same entity.
Through all of this, I keep asking myself: What more can I be doing?
-Natalia Wohar, Sophomore