It has been really hard to try and explain to the boys why I am here. I can't say its my job, because its not. If I say I am a volunteer, there second question is why am I here all day and what is my second job? Finally concluding in, where do you live, how do you have money, and then of course when I tell them I am living with Sister Donna the next question is, are you a nun?
When I fully explain what I am doing here I get this small twinge of guilt mid sentence everytime. Here I am a college graduate, volunteering a year. The population I work with see's a college degree as the golden ticket out of their neighborhoods. Here I am with one, first comming to their neighborhood. They ask me why, why am I here? Why would I waste a year of my life, at 22, volunteering in the ghetto of Chicago?
I never know what to say now. In the beginning it was easy. Now that I have been here a little longer, gotten to know the issues of the culture, and have made friendships, its harder. Now I feel some what guilty. I have nice cloths, I don't wear the same thing every day or even twice a week. I don't worry about a cold house when I get home. I don't worry about food. All of those things are just minor issues. I don't worry about surviving, staying alive.
You always see movies coming out about the ghetto and how its portrayed and you think its so untrue. People belive racism is dead; non-existant. Some see the poor as lazy, dumb and African Americans as violent.
I'm not going to sit here and lecture or blab about social issues. No one wants to hear of some ones account or take on such issues. But each of the issues stated above... exist in a bigger way than many belive. Racism is very much still in our world. The poor have never been given good education and a quality chance to overcome... anything. African Americans are not violent.
All I am saying today is that.... I get it..... but I will never get it because I never lived it.
This week I was, for the first time scared. After that minor encounter it shook me up big time. Then I saw a movie that was very cleaver in disguising the portrayal of America and the poor and rich. These events all following the week before with the art exhibit. All these events and encounters made me shift in my ideas of why I am here and my views of the people around me.
I still can't answer the question, "why are you here?" Beacuse frankly.... i'm not exactly sure yet. What I can say is that I have learned far more than my college degree ever taught me, and its only been roughly, 3 months. And with my faith... I am here for a reason, I just haven't quite figured out why yet.... but in time, I will know.
So maybe the title of this blog shouldn't be, "I get it, but I don'g get it," but instead, "I get it, but I never will get it."