Monday, March 23, 2009

"Ain't Gonna Let Nobody Turn Me Round!" the impact of the trip

Wow the whole experience was amazing! I learned so much, saw new places, and tried new foods! But most of all this trip changed the way I see the world! I've always considered myself open minded but wow did I have more to learn! I met new people from many different backgrounds and learned that breaking down seperation walls (both physically and mentally) is key to learning to coexist with each other.

Now I had learned about the Civil Rights Movement before in school but it was only government textbooks. Basically it just summerized events and key dates but little did I know there was so much more. The Civil Rights Movement was not just one event in one place at one time...It is many events (both big and little), happening everywhere, all the time (even today!)!
At the begininng I was appalled by the stories I was hearing! I heard of young and old innocent people being beaten, tortured, and lynched. I heard of churches being bombed and people being treated like animals. I was both terrified, shocked, and getting angry all at the same time. But then as we heard from witnesses... or in my eyes... heroes such as John Lewis, Joann Blann, and Minnejean Brown Trickey I became confused as to why they were not expressing the same feelings as I as I listened to these horrendous events. But then they all described it... they had to forgive or else they would only be filled with hate and anger every day. I was astounded! They had shown me how they could each be the better person through forgiveness and therefore allowing themselves to be gracious of the new opportunities their fights had been for.

As the trip progressed I continually used these example to understand that that we must use these models to continue pushing forward. Soon I was no longer filled with my past unpleasant emotions but the feelings of passsion and motivation to continue the movement. For I also discover through the trip that the movement in not over but still continuing even in our lifetime.

When one of us asked Joann Blann: "What is the first step for us today to begin making a difference?" She answered: "Go home...start but doing one thing to make your town or city better than it is today. By changing one thing you can begin to make it better for those to come after you." This is the first thing that this trip has taught me. And dispite the forces that may be against that neccesary change I am going to try my hardest to make it a better place for those to follow me!
Even if that force trys to turn me away... I will only turn full circle to face it again!

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