Thursday, August 9, 2007

Get in where you fit in

“There is no possibility to solve it before we are brave enough to face it.” That quote is from my colleague at Cabrini Connection, Paul Wei’s blog. He was talking about his experiences here in Chicago and comparing the things he’s seen and places he’s been to what goes on in his country, China. In one excerpt, he talked about visiting the Tribune Freedom Museum. He stated, “I was a bit confused when I came to the name of the museum. The concept of freedom is a very abstract idea in my country. Common people never talk about it, and when the right of freedom is violated, people don't even notice it. It just seems like the word "freedom" mostly appears in poems or fictions.”
He went further to discuss visits to the Art Museum and Navy Pier and talked about the benefits of having cultural experiences as a child to carry with one throughout their lives. He then discussed the issues of their education being “score” based and not experience based and how poverty further destroys the opportunities youth have in his county to become successful, culturally aware and free.
His words gave me pause, it seemed a lot of the same issues he was discussing about his country and his experiences could be summed up in the life experiences of many people in our own country. How race and poverty often determine where you live, and how where you live often determines your educational opportunities, and your education often determines your career, which then determines yet again where you live. All those lost or gained opportunities then determine the life we live and the lessons we pass down to future generations of ourselves.
It’s up to us, all of us, to make the changes necessary in our society to combat the root cause of these problems. There’s a saying, “get in where you fit in,” that provides insight into what needs to be done to make the positive changes necessary to change the outcomes of our lives. Showing up is never enough, in school, at work, in politics and in life; just showing up has little or no impact on our desired results. All you have to do is ask yourself, what can I do? Can I spend time mentoring an at risk youth, can I take the time to tutor a youth struggling through school or can I make a donation so that those that do have the time have the resources and opportunities to provide them.
We don’t have the luxury of time to point out the problem and discuss solutions, now is the time to commit to solutions. Get in where you fit in or face the fact that you are the problem.


Tutor Mentor Connections said...

At my Tutor/Mentor blog I wrote about the My Hero Award lunch held on Aug 7 , where lawyers and judges celebrated their involvement tutor/mentor programs. The message was "do a good deed every day". Read it at

We hope that engineers, accountants, muscians, athletes and fraternal groups will duplicate what the lawyers are doing, by encouraging their own members to be volunteers and donors in tutor/mentor programs throughout the Chicago region.

Ms. Edie said...
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