Monthly Archives: December 2010

“Kisses from Katie”

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Two weeks ago I organized a small
rally outside of the Hub to mobilize students to call senators Casey and
Specter offices, asking them to vote in favor of the Child Protection Compact
Act (CPCA). The CPCA, if passed, will double our government’s efforts to combat
human trafficking overseas; an issue of ever increasing severity. The night
before the rally, while enlisting students to help out I came across some
objection. One sophomore asked me where the money to fund the act would come
from, though by his tone I’m sure he knew the answer was obvious. “We’ve got
enough problems to fix at home before we can think about sending more money
overseas.”

I find it amusing, though even more
aggravating that there exists such resentment by Americans toward the idea of
helping non-citizens. We live in the most prosperous country in the history of
the world, and interestingly we show more insecurity at the thought of losing
even the smallest portion of that wealth. In his book, The Betrayal of
American Prosperity
, Clyde Prestowitz describes America’s rise to economic
prominence, and points to its probable “decline” if our government fails to
initiate a protectionist economic strategy. Prestowitz warns of the danger of
losing our competitive edge as if we would be reduced to a pre-industrialized
and depressed state. Interestingly, he never once recognizes that England and
France -whose empires both used to dominate the world -still enjoy a standard
of living comparable to ours (I’d say even better in England, for the majority
of the population). To me, it seems that having more wealth than the rest of
the world has only made us more weary of having less than our neighbors.

I wonder how different the world
would be if Americans didn’t count comfort and money as the key to their
happiness.

If you’ve never read her blog, I
invite you to explore the world of Katie Davis, a 21-year-old girl from
Tennessee who moved to Uganda upon graduating high school to set up a school
for more than 150 children, and is the adoptive mother to 13 (although it was 14
until very recently) Ugandan girls. In February, Katie wrote this regarding her
decision to choose poverty over comfort.

“A few days
ago an American woman who had spent about three days of her life in a third
world country looked at me and said, “I would SO love to do what you do. I
would do it in a heartbeat. Oh, I would take 14 kids in a second!” It is a good
thing that I was having a graceful day, because I said, “Aw that’s nice.” But
my not so graceful heart was angry. And the not so graceful voice in my head
wanted to say to her, “Ok then, do it. I can have you 14 orphaned, abandoned,
uncared for children tomorrow. So here is what you have to do: Quit school.
Quit your job. Sell your stuff. Disobey and disappoint your parents. Break your
little brother’s heart. Lose all but about a handful of friends because the
rest of them think you have gone off the deep end. Break up with the love of
your life. Move to a country where you know one person and none of the
language. And when you are finished, I will be here waiting with your 14
children!” I wanted to ask her what was stopping her, knowing that the answer
would be her comfort. I wanted to look at her and tell her that my life was
full and joyful and WONDERFUL, but I also wanted to tell her to COUNT THE COST.
Because my life IS full and joyful and wonderful, but it is NOT easy. My life
is NOT glamorous. I do not expect it to be. I do not think that anything about
carrying a cross was easy or glamorous either.”

Read the rest here; but I warn you
that it might make you think twice about where true happiness comes from.

http://kissesfromkatie.blogspot.com

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