Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Eating an Elephant

"There is a word for taking more than we need- Cancer."

Looking at the list I made for myself, I'm happy to say that I passed the certification courses and exam; I am now officially certified to teach French in Texas! I'm also making my dreams come true, and little by little, seeing Peace Tree Africa take new steps, and became a Business owner in the process! Oh, how we learn as we go...after talking to various business advisers and seeking out all the info that I could, my application was turned in and my fees were submitted to the IRS; I received a call not long after that informed me that Nonprofits are not allowed to have a large source of revenue that comes from the selling of merchandise- et voila, Peace Tree Africa Partnership was born!!

And somewhere in my blindly having faith in the universe, a surprise gift was given to me, and I re-connected with a friend from college. In college, Ryan was... let's just say eccentric. We talked and talked, every time that we ran into each other on campus. He claims it was flirting whenever he would ask me to coffee to help him with his French; I never noticed his glances into the Study Abroad office while I was working there, nor did I realize that he thought so highly of me. I just thought he was a really nice guy. Little did we know that our lives would end up in the same exact direction, and that coming together 5 years later would only create something wonderful and collaborative, and that we would share the same sentiments when it comes to Africa, sustainable development, political status, and values. I was casually dating someone else earlier this year, but when Ryan and I started talking more and more on the phone, it was clear to me that this was something big and that I had better make room for it. He brought a rose and a bone for my dog on the first date! I knew it would only get better from there, and in the past 2 months, it has...he's a better partner than I imagined was ever out there for me, from fabulous dates to making breakfast to making phone calls for my business. He is 110% there for me, and I can only hope that I treat him as well. We are still getting to know each other better, but if I told you that we didn't have plans for Peace Corps, resorts in Africa and grad programs in the North, I would be lying. ;-)

I recently watched a film that I MUST mention. The I AM documentary. I wish that the entire world would sit down and watch the film, and then act accordingly. I've seen it twice, and everyone I have encouraged to see it has loved it. I referenced it in my exit interview when I quit working for the ATX Telematics Corporation just last week. It's THAT good! Some of the messages that I love from the film are:

* The universe provides us with enough. We should take what we need and give the rest to others.
* There is a word for taking more than we need- Cancer.
* WE are the problem. WE need to BE the change.
* Competition is an evil that has made Americans very selfish, so much so that in the same cities that we live in, there is poverty and hunger. If everyone cared, the problem would not be.
* Our energy actually has an impact on the universe, and therefore the simple breath that we breathe out into the universe does change it, in some small way.
* Only one thing can save us- LOVE.
See more about it here: http://www.iamthedoc.com/thefilm/

I quit working as a BMW Response Agent with ATX Telematics, in protest against the machine that treats people like they're robots, and to satisfy my need to do something filled with purpose, dignity and respect, and where my talents & experiences are appreciated. Working 2 jobs that I love, even without benefits and whatever else adults feel like they are supposed to have, makes me much happier. It's not about the money. It's about filling life with as much love as possible. I will also now have a little more time to work toward Peace Tree Africa's goals.

I provide you with such a personal recount of all that I am doing, because I believe that peace SHOULD be personal to all of us, and every choice that we make reflects our values. If nothing else, I will die trying to make the world a little better, even if it takes the rest of my life. As Desmond Tutu says in the I AM documentary film, "There is only one way to eat an elephant.. one piece at a time!"

1 comment:

Ali said...

Hi, Tara. I just saw the documentary film "I AM" and was simply blown away...I'm an atheist, but I totally get (feel?) the connection and unity in all things--just consider this: I was googling Desmond Tutu's "eating an elephant" comment for a facebook entry and came across your blog. I enjoyed reading your entry, especially about your own connection with a former friend :) He seems pretty cool. As well, your interest in Africa is something we share--I'm from Somalia, I fled the civil war when it first erupted and your peace initiative seems really cool. Best of luck!