Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Considering Possibilities

Recently, I had a conversation with a good friend of mine about my expectations for my teaching fellowship in Afghanistan. He asked, "are you ready to die there?"
I was taken aback by this question because I hadn't considered the possibility. Yes, I am going to a war zone. Yes, I am going in the capacity of an educator, without the protection of arms or bunkers or body armor. Yes, I am aware that the Taliban likes to kill and/or kidnap people who find it necessary to educate women. But still, I hadn't really considered the possibility that I may die there. After all, people live there! They are making a life everyday in the very city that I am about to move to. I imagine that I will make a life for myself there too, granted it will be of a short duration, but I imagine myself as part of my community, teaching teachers and students, learning about the culture, speaking the language, and making friends.
I think my friend was just as surprised when I answered, "Yes."
Although it may seem selfish to some that I am willing to die while teaching abroad, I still am. My family and close friends understand that teaching, and teaching those that need an education most, is my passion. I would rather die doing something that I was meant to do, something that makes me feel alive and useful, than die stagnant and unhappy. For me, living is doing things for others that matter; it is making a difference by contributing something positive to the world; it is making each day important and remembering that the world is bigger than ourselves. I don't know who said it, but these words always ring true in my head, "All of us are going to die, but many of us never get the chance to really LIVE." I teach, I do crossfit, I paddle, I volunteer my time so that I can live.

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At 8:23 AM , Blogger Goose said...

I like it. You make some great points. Though, I didn't know you were going to Afganistan to teach. I have another friend who just recently returned from there. Hope all is well.


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