Saturday, May 22, 2010

Excuse me, how do I get to Jersey Shore?

I'm sitting at Newark Airport, attempting to get my $8 worth of Internet in before I leave here. 3 hours down, 2 more to go. Let's blog the time away...

I spent the past few days in New Jersey. I asked around and I'm sad to report there were no Snooki sightings where I was. I'm guessing Princeton Theological Seminary just isn't her scene. Not enough space in the bars for her to do to back handsprings.

I attended the Institute of Faith and Public Life and also met with a group of people whose jobs are similar to mine - engaging young adults in year-long mission service. I love/hate being in the company of people who are intelligent, articulate, passionate, accomplished and funny. I love it because I hope to one day develop into such a person [or at least date one]. I hate it because mostly I'd feel more comfortable chatting with The Situation. [He could give me some gym tips.]

There is a Nelson Mandela saying that is often quoted that speaks to me when I feel like a shrimp in the oil-saturated Gulf of out-spoken voices. Mandela says: Your playing small does not serve the world. 

If Snooki doesn't allow her 4'9 frame inhibit her from representing all the Guidettes out there, why should I allow my lack of graduate degrees and professional/life experiences stop me from wanting to join the movers and shakers out there on the forefront of social justice advocacy?

First, and most importantly, I will work on educating myself of the facts and myths that exist out there. Here are a handful of things I have learned during my time in New Jersey:
  • Just because something is legal, doesn't mean that it is right. Remember when segregation was legal and women weren't allowed to vote?
  • Learning about Martin Buber freshmen year of college was important: stop objectifying people as "it" but rather see them as "thou" 
  • Get to know your neighbor, especially your enemies so that you can love them [I will be tuning into Fox News more often]
  • Ben Franklin seriously thought German immigrants in America would never learn to speak English...
  • The Beatles and Jesus were right: All you need is Love.
  • I love the smell of flowers in the air
  • Being at a conference afforded no time for GTL
 Here are some great resources I learned about this weekend:

GreenFaith - Interfaith Partners for the Environment
Follow Me to Freedom - book written by Shane Claiborne and John M. Perkins
Bread for the World - Have Faith. End Hunger. 
World Relief
Jesus and Justice

"The love for justice that is in us is not only the best part of our being but it is also the most true to our nature." -cc

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