One of the greatest privileges enjoyed by many citizens of the United States is that of abundance. A large majority of the population lives in fair certainty that they will not be afflicted by some rampant, incurable disease, that the water they drink will not cause immense amounts of pain and disease soon thereafter, and that they will go to sleep with a full stomach. Unfortunately with this privilege comes the ability to turn a blind eye to those who do not enjoy this ease of lifestyle...those in the world who may not have a parent to turn to, those who do not have water or, at least, water that is safe to drink, those who go to bed with the pains of hunger ripping at the lining of their stomach threatening to tear their life from them in the night...it's all too easy to become accustomed to this privilege that we've inherited.
I am one of these few privileged. I do not have to worry about where my next meal is coming from or where I can get clean water. I have access to an amazing education. I have a future that is not hindered by a need to simply survive. And I DO NOT want to forget, forget about the millions out there this very night struggling to get warm, to make it through those ripping pains of hunger, those with aids, those with no parents because their folks up and left when the going got too tough...I cannot forget. Because it is the responsibility of we who have been, by the grace of God or by sheer dumb luck, been placed in a situation that allows us to help.
These words being said, this summer I will be traveling to Pommerin, Tanzania, accompanied by my several members of the Norwich University Rotoract club as well as several Interactors and Rotarians. While there we will be completing the construction on a vocational center that will house orphaned youth as well as beginning the construction on a barn, both of which will help promote self-sustainability and increase economic development. While this trip is an amazing opportunity, for both parties involved, I do not want to forget that help does not stop there...and help does not need to, by any means, be restricted by borders. I am sure every one of you knows all too well the plagues facing our own country...but, when it comes down to it, it is the responsibility of those who have it within their power to act for good, to act. As an Army cadet and Norwich cadet, the value of Selfless Service is not an inherent one but one that must be acted upon each and every opportune moment.
Pay it forward.