Thursday, December 2, 2010

what am I doing here?

I've been thinking about this blog a lot recently... what am I doing with it, what kind of things are people taking away, but mostly what kind of influence I'm having.
When I first started out, I thought it'd just be something fun for me to do and for my friends to get updates about me through college. It's not like I'm trying to brag about having 80 followers or anything, because that's hardly anything, but it's still crazy that anyone wants to read it. But then I started thinking, here are 80 people who I don't even really know, but are reading things I'm saying. Each of them has their own blog where they further affect other people.

So why is it I say such meaningless stuff on here?

I really do love being a part of "the hipster generation", but we're so selfish. Many people are doing awesome things to help others, but there are so many more who just sit around being cynical and sarcastic on their blogs, twitter, tumblr, whatever -- ranting about fashion faux pas, the joys of cupcakes, who has the snazziest polaroid camera, edgy tattoos, bands no one has heard of... and I'm not trying to separate myself from all that, because I have definitely been the same way about so many things. And there's nothing wrong with any of these things... but why let them take up our lives?
What's it all worth?


There are people dying on the other side of the world from starvation, while we sit here in America becoming vegan because it's the new fad. 20,000 kids died today. And will tomorrow. And the next day.

I've never been a huge fan of Bono, but what he said about our generation was like a slap in the face.

"There is a continent—Africa—being consumed by flames.
I truly believe that when the history books are written, our age will be remembered for three things.
the war on terror, the digital revolution, and what we did—or did not do—to put the fire out in Africa.
History, like God, is watching what we do."

I went to a concert last night where the band members were trying to get a hundred children from Africa sponsored. I sat there for a few minutes thinking of how great it would be to be able to sponsor a kid, but then my selfishness took over. I'm a college student, I thought. the "broke college student" card. Yes, I'm ashamed to say I played it. I hear this so many times every day. But look around at your fellow students - what are they driving? Do they have a nice phone or ipod? What about their clothes? Again, I'm not saying these things are bad. But can we honestly call ourselves a broke college student when we have an iTouch, name brand jeans, and have a car? Even if you don't have any of those things, what about shoes? Most people in third world countries don't even have one pair. I'd be willing to guarantee that every one of us has at least 4 or 5 pairs.
Let's be honest with ourselves - we are NOT BROKE.
I'm not really sure what I'm trying to accomplish with this post. I'm not trying to guilt trip you into feeling like a wealthy, luxurious American who should give up all your possessions and go sponsor a child... well... maybe I am. ;) Last night after the initial thoughts of doubt, I just gave up. I signed up to be a sponsor without thinking it through and overanalyzing like I usually do. I don't know if I'm going to be able to afford to come back to college next semester, but I know I have $35 a month to spare for someone who needs food. And it was one of the most amazing experiences of my life. I don't know how, but I know I'm never going to struggle to find that money. So I really, really, really would encourage anyone to do this - it's such a simple way to make a difference. [Both world vision and compassion international have sponsorship programs, it takes about 2 minutes to sign up]
But even more than that, if you will, just think a minute about the impact you're making - with your words, with your blog, your facebook, your twitter, whatever. Don't get me wrong, I love posting lovely pictures I've found, quotes I like, about favorite movies and musicians, clothes, things I want, etc. But just think about the influence we can have on the hundreds of friends (followers?) we have that will read what we're saying.
So I challenge you to take a hiatus from your usual blogging. Don't post about the newest fashion fad and how cute it is. Don't post about an artsy movie. Don't post about your newest etsy find. Instead post something meaningful. Something lasting. It's up to you what that is. :)


  1. You are so right. Powerful stuff. Especially in the Christmas season. It should be about how we can show God's love, not what we can GET. So much greed this time of always...

  2. Me and my family sponser a child through compassion international! Thanks for writing this and your 100% spot on, even if we don't always like to admit it :)

  3. Wonderful post. God put Africa on my heart a few years ago and I do what I can when I can, but I totally know what you mean. We are so wrapped up in our lives and what we own sometimes that we allow ourselves to forget. Thanks for the reminder. :)

  4. You are so right... I'll end up posting something... although it will take some time thinking of a meaningful post to write...

  5. Oh wow I have been thinking about this a lot lately. People complain about not being lucky, but someone is always less fortunate. We are so encapsulated in our own world its pretty sickening.
    Thanks for posting this:)

  6. I just linked to a post... It isn't the greatest or most significant thing in the world, but... it's something that I feel makes a point, even thought if it is a small one.

  7. Sponsoring a child is well-intentionned and will probably help that child, but if you really want to make a difference money isn't the way to do it. It is only making african countries dependent on our generosity to survive, instead of letting them take control of their own future. If you really want to help end misery in africa you have to challenge the system, 'cause its the system that keeps them from helping themselves. Money helps, but instructing yourself and others about the causes of the problems over there is a million times better.
    But please don't take this like i'm trying to put you down. I think it's great that you feel concerned enough to do something, it's just that almost everyone thinks doing something means giving money, and that is so untrue. Often it's just a way to make themselves feel good about themselves/show that they're "good people" and then they forget about it and keep perpetuating the consumerist system that is at fault...
    Oh and when i say "challenge the system" i don't mean in the "oh i'm such a rebel i'm an anarchist" way, i mean question the way society works, why we act the way we do, think the way we do. Challenge your convictions and habits =)
    Sorry for the monologue^^.