I slept and dreamt that life was Joy
I woke and saw that life was Duty
I acted, and behold, Duty was Joy
- Rabindranath Tagore
During my undergrad I chose quite a few political science classes that dealt with international development. I was fascinated with underdevelopment – why some countries were so poor while others were so wealthy. I really loved learning about this and loved meeting other students who were equally concerned with international social and economic issues. I remember one guy named Mitchell who wanted to farm onions in India when he finished his degree because he was disgusted with our greedy, indulgent North American capitalist system. His parents once returned from a vacation in Mexico and when they went to show him their pictures he mocked “That isn’t Mexico! You guys didn’t go to MEXICO, you went to some American resort that doesn’t even come close to representing what real life in Mexico is…..” He was passionate.
I too wanted to make a difference and my interest in humanitarian work grew….but then my view kind of shifted. At the end of my degree, after all I had read and heard my conclusion was this: The world doesn’t need big heroes as much as it needs needs good citizens, good mothers, good fathers, good aunts and uncles, good grandparents. People who live decent lives and serve their families, neighbours and communities. I’m not saying humanitarian work isn’t important, I just really think there would be so much less of it to do if every one offered their humble contribution of love and duty. I gave up my dream of being a Mother Theresa for being a Mom and I genuinely feel that my offering is just as noble.