it has always been one of my great dreams to make a difference.
"i don't know why i think i can make any kind of difference. all i know is that i want to."
i wish these words were written by me, but they're not. these are the words of angelina jolie, as written in a journal she kept on some of her first few travels as a un goodwill ambassador for the unhcr - united nations high commissioner on refugees.
these lines i'm sure echo the sentiments of many other people in the world, myself included.. in a major way. (hehe, seriously!)
i reeeally don't read books! its sort of my frustration! i admire people who have favorite authors (meaning they've read enough of a lot of authors to actually have a favorite.) and those who are so in-the-know with all the great works. i'm the type who really wants to read, but after a few pages, i get sleepy!! (ack! how sad!) but recently, i did get to finish a book.. 'notes from my travels' by angelina jolie. yes, she has a book.
its both intensely inspiring and extremely depressing. it opens up your eyes to the many, many injustices around the world, but also lifts your spirits with stories of the unbelievable strength of these people. for those who are thinking of studying humanitarian aid, something i plan to hopefully study in the future too (sabay tayo ben ha!), this will probably be a good book to read.
i was just so moved by what i read, so allow me to share a few lines that struck me most in the course of my reading the book..
"i honestly want to help. i don't believe i am different from other people. i think we all want justice and equality. we all want a chance for a life with meaning. all of us would like to believe that if we were in a bad situation someone would help us."
"i don't understand why some things are talked about and others are not."
"i wasn't sure i should go - i'm still not sure, but - and i know this may sound false to some - i thought of the people who have no choice."
"what i am reminding myself is that these problems do not disappear just because we do not hear about them. and in that thought - there is so much more happening around the world than what is communicated to us about the top stories we do hear."
"i told one of the workers how i admired him for being able to work there everyday, all day long. he said, 'yes, it is hard work, but it is for the children, so it feels good.'"
"when they say, 'each person can make a difference,' i believe that is true."
"could you imagine if that was our everyday life? could you imagine acknowledging every individual you pass and smiling at one another? showing respect to everyone?"
"the imbalance of funding in the world makes no sense to me."
"and yet with all of these complaints, i have never felt so good in my life. i am so tremendously honored to be with these people. i realize more everyday how fortunate i have been in my life. i hope i never forget and never complain again about anything. but damn - my feet are itchy."
"earlier this morning i was complaining about my feet being itchy. this afternoon i met a man who lost his leg. he greeted me with a smile and was joking with his doctor. he found the energy to be a gracious host to us visitors."
"there are so many cambodians over a certain age who will remember everything. i don't know how they live on. but they do, with so much strength of will and power and spirit. they are an example to us all."
"it is a shame how, for a time, i can so easily shut out the world's problems when i am safe at home."
"they understand something about life that many of us (thank GoD) never will, and they focus on many things we have forgotten. they know what to be grateful for. they appreciate the importance of family and community. they understand the power of faith and love."
"this message is written on the board: 'if we all do a little, we can do a lot.'"
"i think this is the hardest thing to see, to listen to them with their bruises, dirty torn clothes, cut fingers, as they smile at you. they are children. they still dream. they seem so full of hope, it breaks your heart."
"the mind wants to forget because it hurts and weighs so much on the heart and soul."
"i've stopped writing for the last few minutes. he was trying not to cry. william told him it was okay. he can talk only about what he wants. the man apologizes. can you imagine? someone apologizing because they can't tell you how their family was killed."
i hope what i shared touched you as much as it touched me..