Paradigm shift

So last week we watched Hotel Rwanda.

I haven’t known how to talk about it, what to say exactly. It covers a situation that I knew the bare-bones information about, and as I have mentioned many times, when something sparks my interest, I like to find out about it. So I spent the weekend watching clips from Frontline: Ghosts of Rwanda and reading as much as I could from that site and a few others. I’ve also checked out some books and put some others on hold. I keep saying things to Mike like, “Some observers believe that almost every woman and adolescent girl who survived the genocide was raped. Can you believe that?” I sent Josh all these impassioned messages, and he very kindly sent me back some resources so I’d know how to channel that anger. I made my parents watch the movie. I haven’t wanted to talk about it here until my thoughts were more fully formed, because I didn’t want to have a cliched entry in which I explain how, two days after watching it, the movie has changed my life and I’m selling all my possessions and moving to Africa to help with the rebuilding process. But I thnk maybe it – combined with a lot of the reading I’ve been doing lately, like The Kite Runner and Confessions of a Pagan Nunhas changed my life a little bit. I’ve been thinking about my life here in America and comparing it to what I’ve been reading. And it makes me thankful that I live here, that I am able to get an education, that I can read, that I am treated as an equal, that I have all this freedom, that I have all these opportunities. My prayer the past week or so has been that I would let these things change me. That I wouldn’t be the same person I was before I started thinking about them.

I would say that I am not generally the kind of person who thinks very much about those in this world who are worse-off than I am. Which, you know, is most of the world. I suppose a lot of times I think that my dollars speak for themselves, and because I give to good causes that I am doing enough. But lately, Mike and I have started feeling like we aren’t doing enough. We’re trying to make better decisions with our money. We’re following the news more and staying more informed. I even talked to the youth pastor at church yesterday about being willing to go with them on mission trips. I grew up in the church and I have never been on a mission trip, so it’s actually a big deal for me to say that. This summer has caused a paradigm shift, to be sure, and I’m trying to let it stick.

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