Monday October 19, 2015

Volunteering Leaves Fewer Options

By Tinamarie Stolz

Don’t know what to do after graduation? How about doing a year of service?

There is so much I could say about my year of service with Christ the King Service Corps in Detroit. I could talk about my amazing, wonderful and loving housemates. I could talk about the best pit bull in the world (Brady). Or about the neighborhood I served in, and what I think Detroit needs to make a full comeback. Or about why poverty, race, public transportation, spirituality, hunger and the marginalized are important.

But instead I'm going to talk about how this year has left me with very few options. I no longer have the option of selfishness--a luxury I didn't previously know I had. I no longer have the option of deeming all poor people as lazy and cheating the system. Or writing off substance abusers as sad stories and hopeless cases. Or believing that racism is dead. Or believing that the Gospel only applies in pieces, or that feeding the hungry and clothing the naked is for someone with more time and money. I can no longer complain about my grad school homework after meeting people whose lack of literacy and GED has left them homeless. I no longer have the option of thinking our government will take care of the poor; welfare doesn't come with a hug, smile and message of hope. And I definitely lost the option of pretending like someone doesn't matter.

Not many things can change the core of our beings. But for me, this year did. 

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