Simplicity is a value that is easily lost for me, swept under the rug to make room for a host of priorities and responsibilities. I am always multitasking, making lists in my planner, and looking at my daunting iCalendar schedule, blocking out my time from 8AM-11PM. It is very difficult for me to pay attention, really pay attention, with a host of distractions around me, from my phone to my schoolwork. I am grateful for my experience on my Service and Justice trip, a guided experience that urged me to let go of my hurried and multitasking pace, intentional sessions that urged me to focus, listen, and be present. While at the Intercultural Senior Center in Omaha, for the first time, I was able to give my all to this experience. With no distractions around me, no studying to get back to or Instagram feeds to check, I was able to fully dedicate my effort and intention to the tasks at hand. I was able to perform simple tasks to the fullest, from handing out silverware in preparation for lunch to decorating the building in preparation of Halloween festivities. This focus and peace of mind also prepared me for the challenging tasks.
One day, another participant and I were directed to teach a basic Karenni literacy class. This level was below conversational – literacy was teaching these seniors to write the alphabet. This was incredibly challenging for me, teaching adults how to perform basic skills we have the privilege of learning from birth is incredibly difficult. It requires one to slow down the pace, pay attention, and be present and compassionate. In that moment of frustration, I realized how much effort and focus it takes for immigrants and refugees to fight to stay here. From daily functions like learning English to huge steps of taking citizenship tests, this fight and long journey requires one to be present and focused. This lesson is something I am trying to incorporate in my daily life. With my privilege, I want to be more focused and present. If I am multitasking and scatterbrained, I cannot give my all to better myself or better the community around me. An attitude of simplicity, I hope, will encourage me to be more mindful and holistic in my approach to daily life. I want to express my thanks to the people who attend the Intercultural Senior Center, for such a wonderful and happy experience.
Class of 2018
The SCSJ blogs are meant to be a place for Creighton students, faculty, staff, alumni/ae, and friends to reflect on their experiences with programs sponsored by the office or related to its mission. The views expressed in these reflections, and all other blogs found on or linked to from this website, are those of the individual authors and are not necessarily those of Creighton University, the Schlegel Center for Service and Justice (SCSJ), or any of the University’s affiliates. The University and the SCSJ are not responsible for the actions, content, accuracy, or opinions expressed in these blogs.