Thursday, November 15, 2007


The one thing that my recent volunteer experiences have taught me over the past several weeks is gratitude. Gratitude is so intangible that it's hard to know exactly what it is when it hits you. I've never been so grateful for the amazing public school system that my parents put me in. Or the unwavering love of my extended family that shows me they care in more ways than I can count.

I recently lead an adult education course on Internet basics that actually taught me a valuable lesson. I can be grateful for things I can't even remember. As I tried to teach a courageous woman in Washington Heights how to use the internet I was grateful for being raised with a computer in my house, and having a patient mom who tried to teach my brother and I how to type before we entered the mandatory typing classes in high school.

When I participated in shelter simulation in NYC I was grateful for never being misplaced from my home. Or when I was packaging and serving meals to displaced families, it made me grateful that I’ve never had to go hungry. When I taught an 8-year old how to write a story the other day, I was grateful I actually paid attention in grammar class. And of course, the list could go on and on….

But, one thing I continue to struggle with is where to start. If you’re trying to teach a group of adults how to use the Internet and several people are using a mouse and keypad for the first time – where do you begin? Or if you’re giving out food after a disaster and someone wants to talk about his or her struggles at home – who am I to push them aside? It’s a process of remembering who I am, when and how I learned what I know and what’s most important to the development of someone in need.

Strange as it sounds…it’s a fun process.


Anonymous said...

I knew you could write, (not spell but write) but I had no idea of the powerful way in which you communicate your ideas!

Anonymous said...

Tangible sounds like Tangerine. I love tangerines. I also love the Led Zepplin song Tangerine. Nice!