The other day, I received an e-mail from my best friend who is doing a graduate program on human rights in Europe. Meaning she is living in Europe, working in an EU-sponsored program on human rights. Recently, this program took its 85 students (she's the only American, which in itself could be a story, believe me) on a trip to Kosovo.
I am not sure exactly what the purpose of the trip was, but I did understand one thing: we fortunate people do indeed "sweat the small stuff." And we do it all the time. It upsets me greatly, and I'm not impartial to doing it myself. After all, I really do need to buy $60 face cream. Come on people don't hate - it's got grape seed oil in it!!!
ANYWAY, the letter I received was not long or detailed. But it certainly brought home some issues I've long had with my society. Note here that I said "my society;" I did not say "America" or "America as a whole" or anything like that. I am aware that I am a white-collar white girl raised in a priveliged part of America, and that my experiences are not the same as anyone's. I am aware of and can appreciate struggle; I have experience dealing with my own struggles (many many, personal and professional) and know they cannot begin to compare with those of other people less or even more fortunate than myself. But receiving the letter from Kosovo, I realized that some of my "struggles" were decidedly non-plus.
Hearing those few details about the people of Kosovo, their warm hearts and shattered lives - trying to re-build, dealing with shortages of food, water, heat, and work - made me feel petty. The crap I consume myself with - looking this way, feeling that way, having this thing, does he like me - seem so absolutely ridiculous on the grand scale. The worst thing is, I know that there are equivelant tragedies here in the 'ole U.S. of A every day. I truly wish that the rest of "my society" would stop being so worried about appearance and see the big picture. It is really difficult to pursue the career I'm trying to pursue, in which I need to put on a seriuous "horse and pony show" for these people, and still maintain a sense of dignity and, most importantly, humanity. I mean, I am truly doing this work because I want to help people; I can't say it's the same for the rest. I guess the best thing to come of the letter I received is that I! CAN'T! WAIT! to get this plane called the New Career off the ground, make loads of money and put it to seriously good use! Hell yeah!
We all "get it" eventually, don't we? It's hard to believe that someone can be on the planet in this day and age for 70 or 80 years or more and completely miss the whole point of it all. But then again, I met up with an acquaintance yesterday who just turned 69, and she spoke to me for over an hour about nothing but pomp and circumstance. Note that I said "acquaintance," not "friend."
PS - Jerry on The Bachelorette is H-O-T!