Lindsey Dzielak September 11, 2013
A Choice the Leads to Hope
Kolvenbach’s speech “The Service of Faith and the Promotion of Justice in American Jesuit Higher Education” is a great, if you will, doctrine to this class. I found the following statement: “We can no longer pretend that the inequalities and injustices of our world must be borne as a part of the inevitable order of things. It is now quite apparent that they are the result of what man himself, man in his selfishness, has done…” as a perfect reason for service learning (Kolvenbach 32). This work is very inspiring and eye opening. Kolvenbach allowed me, as the reader, to realize that I am given everything I need to reach out and “serve faith and promote justice” (Kolvenbach 33). This writing parallels my experience thus far at Loyola. In the classroom I have been handed the opportunity to help the “one child in every six that is condemned to ignorance and poverty” (Kolvenbach 31). I am more than excited to start volunteering at the BCCC’s Refugee Youth Project and my goal is to give hope to some of the children I meet as well as gain something. As to what that something is, I am not sure yet. Not only does Kolvenbach’s speech illustrate the tie between this class and the service learning, but Frances E. Harper, Jill McDonough, and Robert Frost’s poems also help to show me what I should strive for.
Frances E. Harper’s poem Learning to Read illustrates the concept of beating the odds to make all individuals have the same opportunity. She elucidates the picture of what life was like as a slave trying to read. It was difficult and gruesome, but when she was finally able to read, there was a sense of accomplishment and happiness that everyone should feel. All individuals should have the chance to feel “as independent as the queen upon her throne” (Meyer 609). By choosing the service learning path I hope to give a child direction, as well as the necessities they need to get started with what they want to do in life. I also want the children to know that if they persevere and never quit, like Harper, they can achieve what they want.
The poem: Accident, Mass. Ave. by Jill McDonough relates to Robert Frost’s The Mending Wall in that both are about forgiveness and its importance from their own perspectives. Particularly in the Accident, Mass. Ave. McDonough is portraying the normative response for a car accident in Massachusetts, but this can also parallel service learning. To me, this poem showed how if you look, before you judge or make statements, you may find something amazing, or in this case, nothing at all. The chances of hitting just the tire are slim to none, and that is why it relays the message to be open-minded. Not only does this poem teach you to examine and evaluate what is in front of you, but it also shows how something’s are more important than your possessions. Luckily, both characters were okay, but the fact that they did not see how each other was before they started yelling shows something of their character. I hope that through the service learning I can relay the message of not judging or evaluating before coming to conclusions. This is something that is extremely valuable in life.
The Mending Wall, by Robert Frost, has a theme of exclusion and not letting down barriers. Robert Frost is telling this story of two neighbors who, once they begin to see each other and have some common ground the speaker insists on building the wall so they stay divided. The neighbor says, “Good fences make good neighbors”, showing he is not trying to overcome their differences either (Meyer 360). This shows how people make an effort to be separated, to keep their differences. Through this service learning path, I hope to find walls or differences that can be broken. Better yet, I hope to find walls that are breaking down and keep them down. I do not want children to feel as if they enemies or have to block people out of their life.
Throughout this whole experience, I also hope to gain wisdom of what a life that I am unfamiliar with, on a personal level, is like. I want to gain the knowledge so that I can become a better person in understanding what other people go through.
Kolvenbach, Peter-Hans. Commitment to Justice in Jesuit Higher Education. 1st ed. Baltimore, Maryland: Apprentice House , 2007. 21-43. Print.
Meyer, Michael. Poetry: an introduction. 7th ed. . Boston, MA: Bedford/St. Martin's, 2013. 359-360,608-609, 619. Print.