By Heather Shore, Mitzvah Corps Pacific Northwest Staff
On our first night here, we asked our participants to share a word that summarized how they were feeling about where they were in that moment.
New. Right. Out of my comfort zone. Excited. Different. Present. Nervous. Beginning.
These were the words that we got in response. Each of those words carried an immense amount of weight, but also a certain sense of distancing loftiness- they were concepts, raw emotions, big picture views, but they were also words that lacked the experiences needed to make their vastness feel more inspiring than overwhelming.
Tonight, on our last evening together, we asked our participants to once again take a step back and reflect on where they were in this moment. Tonight, the answers we got were backed by two weeks of learning, listening, growing, and living together. Tonight, our answers were full of love, full of confidence, full of the nerves that come with preparing to translate a world of passion into a life of action once we leave the community we’ve built together. Tonight, we took that first step together, and here were the answers that paved the way:
“In this moment, I feel that I have changed my outlook on my future.”
“In this moment, I am grateful for the opportunity to have come on this trip because it has changed the way I value fresh produce.”
“In this moment, I feel that I have learned how fortunate I am to be able to help people less fortunate than me.”
“In this moment, I feel that I have changed my perspective on life and the world around me.”
“I have grown, yet extra growth is hard to manage without help.”
“In this moment, I know that I have changed my outlook on myself, my relationships, and my role in changing and helping the world.”
“I have been touched by this program in an unimaginable and unpredictable way that I never could have even dreamt could happen.”
“I’m not who I used to be- I think it’s a good thing, but I’ll never be sure”
Thank you, MCPNW participants, for inspiring us, teaching us, working with us, and actively working to be the light our crazy, chaotic, messy world needs to find its way in the dark. It has been a privilege working with and getting to know every one of you – your passions, interests, strengths, and journeys. We are so proud of each and every one of you and wish you all the best of luck on everything that you do. We miss you already!