‘Courage Over Comfort’

It’s finally here! Tomorrow my fellow YAVs and I will be finally traveling to Agua Prieta Mexico. While we are finally going to our new home tomorrow, our journey has not just begun. The past two weeks have been full beyond reason. In those two week there have been two separate orientations, too much information for one brain to hold, and sadly not enough sleep. During that time I have met some incredible people (who are now spread around the world), learned new things about myself, my church, and my world; seen a new city, gotten a new bike, eaten both Guatemalan and Ethiopian food, and been bit by more mosquitos than I can count. And that’s not even half of it.

During this time, I’ve come to realize many different things. One is that as a white male from the United States, I have more privilege than one person deserves. I take things for granted that are sometimes not even possible for people of color and other races. And I often don’t even notice it! At first, this caused me a lot of guilt (and it still does-hopefully it won’t go away). Because of me, the world has a system that purposefully puts down one group of people while elevating another for no reason at all. For no real reason, there is unfairness, injustice, and cruelty throughout the world. We (as in white society) have created a system that is fundamentally flawed and works to oppress other human beings for unacceptable reasons. And that guilt has made me feel uncomfortable. Uncomfortable with the damage done to our fellow human beings and the cause I have played in that damage. Uncomfortable with the fact that this broken system is in place. Realizing this causes me to feel sick, to make me want to run away and hope that I do not cause more damage. It makes me want to run away for my own comfort. However, during this time, I have also come to the realization that we all have a place in this world, no matter our race, faith or where we live. I have a voice that (as unfair as it may be) is more readily heard by society and labeled as ‘better’. It is given more thought and attention than the voices of the people out in the Borderlands, the voices of those who face these injustices everyday. While is makes me uncomfortable to raise my voice, being able to gives me a sense of hope, of possibility, and of responsibility. A responsibility not to fix all of the problems of the world (for they are too many), but a desire and drive to stand besides our brothers and sisters around the world whose voices are often not heard. This won’t be easy. It won’t be simple. And it sure won’t be comfortable. But it is something that must be done. So this is my prayer for you, for me, my fellow YAVs, and for our world:

Yahweh,
I pray that you help us be strong and brave, not for our own sake, but for our brothers and sisters around the world. Share their strength with us. Help us to raise our voices together to create a new system, a new song for your people. Please give us love over fear, and courage over comfort.

Amen.

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One thought on “‘Courage Over Comfort’

  1. Hey Jake — Thank you for sharing this sense of discovery and struggle with your community. Facing the not-so-great parts of our world, and the systems we’re part of, can be one of the hardest things we ever do. It’s work that lasts a lifetime.

    I’m glad you can identify that it’s not that folks in the “Borderlands” don’t have a voice, it’s that their voice is not listened to. That’s an important distinction, and one that recognizes that people have value even when that value is not recognized by the socially dominant system.

    You say in this post, “For no real reason, there is unfairness, injustice, and cruelty throughout the world.” I want to push you a little bit to try this year to figure out what the reasons might be for the world being the way it is. As you listen to the voices around you, learn more about systems of both oppression and capacitacion, and make connections between your experience and the world, you might start to hypothesize about some reasons. Let’s keep talking about it!

    -alison

    Like

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