Tuesday, May 22, 2007

What can I do?

Lately I have been reflecting on all that is going on in the world and the suffering that so many people endure each day. I recently watch the movie "Freedom Writers" and was really touched. It amazed me to see this one woman help so many people within her sphere of influence. By showing respect to her wayward students she was able to create a bond of trust and they in turn showed her respect. I was so inspired at how she fought for her students despite being up against all kinds of odds. She not only valued their education but their quality of life.

It got me thinking about what I can do. What is my sphere of influence? Who can I touch? Can I help troubled people find hope in their lives? I think of my time as a missionary, as a volunteer and other capacities in which I have been fortunate enough to interact with people less fortunate than I. Experiences like these strengthen me and help me realize all that I have been blessed with. I truly have so much to give and yet I feel I take so much for granted. At times I feel almost disgusted with myself and the way I live. Why was I blessed with so much? Am I really deserving of my blessings?

In Relief Society our lesson was on provident living and the instructor talked about an exhibit she had seen in a museum. The subject of the exhibit was people leaving their homes and the things that they were allowed to take with them. Each section had a scale and portrayed the amount of things or possessions that people had taken with them. All kinds of groups were represented, from those on the Mayflower who were able to bring provisions with them on the ship to Cambodian refugees who could only take a small sack with food in it when they left home. The last section was for refugees from Afghanistan. The scale indicating what they took with them was empty and in place of possessions was a quote that said, "We were able to leave with our lives. That is enough."

Oh, how my heart hurts to think of people in these circumstances!

I look into my closet and think of all the people that I could clothe with what I have and how there are so many days that I complain about not having anything to wear! I am grateful to live in a country filled with so many opportunities and yet I don't want to become selfish and prideful. How do I find a balance in my life? I'm not sure what the answers are, but I am thankful for the people throughout the world that I have met and that have taught me so many valuable lessons. I can only hope that I have had an influence in their lives as well.

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