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Tuesday, July 2, 2013

A Quote for the Road! (We're Headed to Africa)


I’m a big quote person. During college I had a professor who encouraged us to compare quotes (and poetry) to icebergs. The part we can “see” is wonderful and inspiring in itself, but the true beauty is found in its depths – under the surface.

In some way I’ve created my own little criteria for what I look for in a quote.

                Am I drawn to it?
                Have I heard of the person who said it? (If not – hello google!) Am I inspired or connected to what this person has done?
                Are there certain words in the quote that speak to me specifically?
                Do I feel some type of emotion after reading it?
                Does it make me want to be a better person? Do I create a new goal?
But maybe most importantly, I’m looking for that “Ah Ha!” moment - a moment when I pause at the impact of a phrase, and I literally stop in my tracks.
A faithful supporter recently passed this quote onto us at Empowering Learners, and it instantly gave me wonder.
If you came here to help us, you are wasting our time. If you have come here because your liberation is bound up with mine, then let us work together.”
~Lilla Watson

Watson is an Australian Aboriginal visual artist and activist. She works tirelessly as an advocate of women’s issues, while also creating visual art she calls “burnings” (hundreds of holes burned in parchment paper) that are admired worldwide.

From an Empowering Learners position this is a really tasty quote (pardon my slang). It certainly packs a punch! I simply love the idea of being bound together in our common endeavors. As I keep thinking about this quote I’m in awe of the complexity Watson generated with two sentences.

She sheds a completely different light on the idea of service. The idea that service to others is really about our own liberation. Talk about an "Ah Ha" moment! In our service we are really seeking our own freedom - a freedom that ultimately joins us as we work together to achieve common goals of whatever nature. To serve each other, is to liberate one another. Okay...that's powerful!

As Empowering Learners moves forward in new relationships and projects, I hope we can continually bind ourselves to our Namibian counterparts. They have been our partners since our humble beginnings. The work we have done together benefits more people, on more levels, than I can imagine. If I look over the years since Empowering Learners began, liberated, is the perfect word to describe my own feelings. I'm certainly grateful for that. :) 




P.S. Empowering Learners is headed off to Africa today (7/2/2013)! Both Ann and I (and maybe Greg!) will be blogging continuously throughout the next two weeks. We'll keep you up to date on all of our travels. We're really excited about visiting schools, and the opportunity to meet with so many friendlies along the way. Stay tuned good people! We hope you travel with us, right here. 

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