A personal reflection on why participate in Post-Graduate volunteering.
By Mellissa Hollabaugh
I am going because I am young and able, and I have no career to endanger. If not now, when?
After I get another degree? After I make some money?
I am going because I have learned to believe that everything starts at home, with me.
I am going because I want my actions to reflect my values.
I am going because if I want peace, I know I must work for justice.
I am going because if I don’t, who will?
I am going because I have innumerable questions that I want to live out.
I am going because a Spanish nun in Peru taught me to salir al encuentro para hacerme amigos
con el pobre. If I don’t know the poor by name, I have not done enough.
I am going in the name of all the poor who asked me never to forget their stories:
Silvana, Aurora, Johan, Miguel, Carmen, Walter, Juan & Esilia, Antonio & Mimi, Miguelina, Elfi, Alma, Sami, Genesis, Luchi, Orquidea, Junior, Estalin, Pedro & Kristina, Canene & Antigua, Pimpa, Boba, Carmen, Juana & Luis, Oscar, Antonio.
I am going because there are a million more stories that need to be told.
I am going because I have been blessed with an education to justice, a community of friends that
encourages me, a loving family that sustains me, and a desire to experience all the joys
and pains the world is willing to offer me.
I am going because I, too, have always wondered,
Why don’t more people stand up?
I am going for all the times I have remained embarrassingly quiet and cowardly in the face of
injustice, prejudice and ignorance.
I am going because I want to be different. I am going because Kyle Woolley once asked me:
How unusual do you want to be?
I am going because I want to test my values, and I want my actions to reflect those values.
I am going because of what Dorothy Day taught me:
The only solution to the long lonliness is love and that love comes with community.
I am going because I want to know what it’s like to have my heart broken, and then to have it
rebuilt through the presence of the divine in others.
I am going to live out my commitment to Jesuit values: to be a woman for and with others, to do and be more than what is expected, to be contemplative in action.
I am going so that I am challenged to change and grow into a better version of myself.
I am going so that I can share what I’ve witnessed with my community back home.
I am going for the many Creighton professors and mentors who have challenged and inspired me.
I am going because I want to make a preferential option for the poor.
I am going because I believe in this quote: Life begins outside your comfort zone.
I am going because I want to practice giving and receiving intangible gifts.
I am going so I can learn to practice wonder and awe for creation.
I am going because I believe in Dr. Martin Luther King’s message,
Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.
I am going because I want to learn to live in simplicity and solidarity.
I am going because I would rather be an instrument of peace than an apathetic graduate.
I am going because I want to learn the difference between wants and needs.
I am going in the influential footsteps of all the JPS grads that have gone before me.
I am going because it is the best reflection of Creighton running through me.
I am going so I can learn to live the Easter holiday.
I am going so I can learn to experience the life that occurs beyond a planner. For as I’ve been told,
Life is what happens when you’re busy making plans.
I am going so I can paint a new picture of what an “American” can be to Latin America.
I am going for all those who cannot go, and better yet, for those who willingly choose not to.
I am going because I have to believe there is so much more to life than just this.
I am going because I have absolutely nothing to lose and everything to gain.
I am going because I know there is a different kind of real world out there, and I want to meet it.
I am going now because life is short, and all we have is today.