“Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrowmindedness.” – Mark Twain
“The world is a book and those who do not travel read only a page.” – St. Augustine
Traveling: a passion embedded deep in my heart and soul to experience and better understand this world with all its different people, cultures, languages, beauty, and of course, FOOD! Whenever I begin to think about discovering a new place something stirs deep inside of me that I cannot quite explain. Excitement consumes my whole being and I revert to my memories of being a small child on Christmas morning waiting not so patiently to rip open my presents and see what’s inside. Pure child-like joy, something that I seem to rarely come across as an adult. Continue reading
Here is my final reflection on relationships in my life covering the past 5 years since I graduated from Gonzaga, sorry for the delay if you were actually waiting for part 3. Hopefully you have enjoyed my reflections thus far and that I’m not boring you all! If you have read my previous 2 posts on relationships you can find part 1 here and part 2 “The Gonzaga Years” here.
If there is one thing I have learned about relationships over the past 5 years of my life it is the importance of being present. By being present in our relationships we show that we are invested in the relationship and it is not simply an acquaintance that is here today and gone tomorrow, although these types of relationships have a place in our lives as well. Simply showing someone that we care about them allows the opportunity for love and trust between two people to develop and grow deeper and more meaningful, even if we don’t say a word.
Up in the rolling hills of northern Nicaragua lies the small village of San Jose de Cusmapa, an oasis in the sky. Anybody that knows me knows just how important this place is to me, and while only living there for a year and a half this place has become like home to me. The first time I found myself in the back of a pickup truck scaling the unpaved road up to Cusmapa in July 2004 I had the sense that this was a special place, but at the time I had no idea just how special it really is. Continue reading
This entry continues with part 2 of my 3 part series on relationships, my experiences with them from when I was born until the present day, and how they have impacted my life. If you haven’t read part one yet, read it here.
After high school I headed off to Gonzaga University in search of new friends and a new community. They didn’t take long to find. The Gonzaga community is one of the most incredible I’ve ever been a part of, and something nobody can truly understand unless they have experienced it for themselves.
Relationships formed in many different ways at Gonzaga. One of the first was through a pre-orientation “Reality Camp” where a group of us incoming freshmen gathered to do community service around the Spokane community for a week. It is amazing how a group of people who have never met before can come together through service and form bonds so quickly. Through loving others we were able to love each other and carry these newly formed friendships with us as we embarked on a new adventure in our lives. Continue reading
This entry begins my 3 part series on relationships, my experiences with them from when I was born until the present day, and how they have impacted my life. When I say relationships I am referring more to friendships than romantic relationships, however romantic relationships do play a part of that.
If there is one thing that I have learned in my 27 years as a member of the human family it is that relationships are the driving force of our lives. God made us to be in relationship – with Him, with family, with friends, with all of creation. Nothing satisfies my heart more than being in relationship with others, and while I am not always the best at cultivating relationships, I try to do my best and without them I would not be the person I am today. Continue reading
I recently just watched Beyond Our Differences, a documentary about human beings coming together to celebrate their common humanity. It’s discusses setting aside our differences – especially religious differences, which are some of the most common sources of hatred, hostility, and violence in this world. This film takes examples from all the world’s major religions – Christianity, Islam, Judaism, Hinduism, Buddhism, and Confucianism – and shows us that at the core we all essentially practice the same values of love, respect, and peace and want what’s best for all of our human brothers and sisters.
Why then do we as humans always insist on focusing on what tears us apart? Does this help us progress in any way? Of course not! Instead for every step forward that we take in coming together as one, we take two or more steps backwards. We all hate being wrong and will do almost anything to prove that what we think or believe is right, even if that’s at the expense of others. We’ve seen this throughout history, and people from every religion have been guilty of this – no exceptions. Millions of people have died because of our differences, and yet if we simply focused on what we have in common most of these lives would have been saved. Can you even imagine this?
When I see people so closed off to another way of thinking that they don’t even want to listen or respect what someone else has to say it both angers and saddens me. So many people don’t even want to take the time to understand where another person is coming from. Instead they simply cast them off as being wrong because it’s not what they think or believe. Don’t get me wrong, I am not saying that I am perfect and not guilty of this too because I no doubt am. It’s hard to get past this wall in our minds because we all truly want to believe that we are right. I know I don’t like admitting I’m wrong any more than the next person! Admitting we are wrong about something can bring our whole world crashing down, and that’s a scary thought. It is something I’m trying to work on, and though I am a Catholic and believe that Catholicism offers the fullness of the truth, I know that there is some measure of truth in all religions and want to be open and accepting of others and their beliefs.
In the end it all comes down to this: LOVE. If we truly love each other as we are all called to do by our respective religions and beliefs, then we will be able to be more accepting of others as well. Then peace will rule our world.
Check out the film here at Beyond Our Differences.
UNTIL NEXT TIME…
For better or worse…..in sickness and in health…..till death do us part.
Do these words mean anything anymore? Does true love even exist? Some would say yes, others no. It’s so easy to doubt in something like true love if we haven’t experienced it ourselves and we see people getting divorced at a higher rate today than ever before. Is there any hope?
Today I found hope in Mr. and Mrs. Jones. I witnessed a love so deep and so true between these two people that I can only hope that I may one day find the same thing. Mr. and Mrs. Jones met when she was 16 and he was 22, and have been married for the past 55 years. That alone is an incredible accomplishment, but I believe that they love each other more now than they ever have before. Continue reading
I found myself with far too much time to surf the internet today, and thought this was just too funny not to share! So here’s a little humor for a Tuesday…..Enjoy!
“Little pimpin’ eatin’ grilled cheese…”