22 (I’ll turn 23 in August!) lessons I’ve learned from my Public Allies experience!
1. Motivation is communicating energy to someone in their own language.
2. The best resource in any community is its people.
3. Don’t talk about what you think of the world; talk about what you will do for the world.
4. Don’t just accept what you’re told. Is it right? Is there a better way? Is it progress?
5. “I have endeavored to seize the beautiful opportunities here.”
6. To reach the community, you must acknowledge and employ their values.
7. “… but at this time, human dignity is the most important thing in my life.”
8. Don’t quit the movement. Wrap your hands and hearts around justice.
9. “I used to say love don’t live here no more. But I was wrong: Love lives everywhere.”
10. Examine what you tolerate.
11. Direct your aggression toward the method, not the perpetrators.
12. Ask why. And when you get an answer, ask again.
13. Celebrate small victories.
14. How can I best contribute? To the world? My family? My friends? My work? My community?
15. Stand still for a moment and just be in awe of everything.
16. Si se puede!
17. Balance & moderation.
18. Keep your energy moving.
19. ”You can’t serve the people if you don’t love them. You can’t love the people if you don’t know them.”
20. Respeto es un derecho humano.
21. Namaste: The light in me reflects the light in you.
22. You can’t have a bad day every day.
One more for good luck!: Half way through my Public Allies term I discovered the following quote. It’s carried me through some of the tougher times this year and reminds me that there’s still so much in store. ”Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?” – Mary Oliver, poet
Starting in October, I’ll be heading out to the West Coast to serve a second AmeriCorps term with the National Civilian & Community Corps. I’ll be based in Sacramento, California conducting various service projects around the region.
My experience with Public Allies Connecticut has taught me valuable community engagement skills and given me incredible opportunities to engage in service for my community. So bringing it full circle, I never had white picket fence dreams. But my experience with Public Allies has taught me I don’t need ‘em!