Can I get a Hand?

Today I decided to try something a little different. I’m not really a fan of the whole blogging thing (which I probably should start being given the depressing future of journalism in that medium), so I’m trying to find ways to spice the experience up, both for me and for whomever takes the time to sit down with a cup of coffee (or other poison) and define their entire existence on every word I say (at least, I’m assuming that’s the case).

Which is why today, I wrote all of the important things I learned today on the most obvious place. Ladies and gentleman, I give you: my hand.

For some reason, I found myself in the embarrassing position of really needing to remember something someone said, being without any kind of paper, and coming to the dark realization that the reason I did so badly my first year in high school was precisely because of my horrendous memory. So, I did the only sensible thing one could do in a crowded room, I wrote on my hand. Which made me think of an interesting way I could present the things I learn on this trip. I figure, our hands do so much for us, why not abuse them a little more by covering them with ink?

Today, I learned several things, I’ll go by limb.

Palm: “We do what we can, it will not solve all the problems, but it will help others, and in turn make us more human.” – This was said by the Bishop of Uganda, Father Franzelli. I think this is the nature of “doing good.” In a lot of ways, one person can’t really do a whole lot to change the world. That ability is in the hands of either the many of the very especial few (Mother Theresa, for example). In a lot of ways, I find that there is absolutely no point to doing any kind of good. We may feed a child for a day, but that child may still die tomorrow. We may help a person from jumping off a building, that doesn’t mean we won’t find that same person up there again. We may tell ourselves that clothing the naked, feeding the hungry, and raising awareness is making a difference, but in the grand scheme of things, we have accomplished nothing. Yet something like this makes me realize that no, in most situations we can’t do a lot, but we can do a little. In that little, we still take the time to help someone, and in turn we help ourselves fulfill our human nature. I like to think of the story of the man who walked along the beach throwing starfish that had washed ashore into the sea. Someone said, “why do you do that? You can’t make a difference.” To which he responded by picking up another starfish, throwing it into the sea, and saying, “well I made a difference to that one.”

Pointer: What do they need? This is something I thought about as we visited a camp inhabited by displaced persons. I realized, at some point, that that’s the question that needs answering. What do these people need? Food? Water? Education? Health care?

Middle: How many have died? This was something that came to me when one of the speakers today talked about how they had been terrorized by the rebels (people led by Joseph Kony), and how in the past year, things have been better. But I thought to myself, how many died during that year? What aren’t they telling us?

Index: “We have come to realize the significance of women in development.” This is something that may not be very relative to what’s going on here, but it is something that I think needs saying. This may be sexist of me to say, but I think there are a lot of women who understand things like nurturing and care more than men. Not to say that men can’t, but it seems to be a very engrained thing to the female mind. As such, I think that in a lot of ways, specific women have done more to make our world a better place than anyone else. Off the top of my head, I can think of Mother Theresa, Simone Weil, and of course, Mary the Mother of God. While I think everyone has an obligation to make the world a better place, I think we can learn from these special women about how to do so.

Also, my thoughts and prayers go out to the Dorsey family during this difficult time. May God bless them.

4 thoughts on “Can I get a Hand?

  1. I LOVE Fr Franzelli’s quote. What a wise man. Thanks for sharing these thoughts! Really took me back to when I was there last year. Congrats on being done filming!

  2. Patrick, keep up the writing, it is good! While you are there, how can Julie and I pray for you?

  3. Very creative with the publishing of the hand! Your insights based upon what you’ve seen there regarding ‘doing what we can’ were very helpful. May God bless you and the rest of your trip.

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