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Joining with others can chip away to solve major problems

We don’t start work on an issue of the Fig Tree with a theme in mind, but one often emerges as we begin editing.

This issue could be subtitled, “Everything is connected,” or in the words of Paul Tillich, “All things are interwoven.”

In this issue, we meet college students who have worked service of many kinds into their schedules and have found that it has broadened their horizons, made them more aware of social justice issues, and allowed them to develop relationships that would not otherwise have been possible.

It has also shown them how the pieces fit together and can deepen their faith.

Coordinators of service learning programs at both Whitworth University and Gonzaga University find satisfaction in their work when they see this growth developing in students.  When we look at their own life stories we see that the same sort of progression has taken place in their lives.

Veterans in the Okanogan area who are familiar with the system that provides the services they need know from experience that the system is often hard to navigate, so they have organized to help other returning veterans.  For some of them, this means stepping out of their own feelings of isolation.

These people and a wide variety of other individuals, organizations and even some neighborhood stores have become aware of problems that concern them, made choices about where they could help, and have made room in their lives to take action.

In doing this, they have not only taken the step of putting their beliefs to work, but they have also become aware of the interweavings of the many crises we face today.

Henry David Thoreau had a gift for stating matters tersely, and one of his observations is applicable today:  “One is not born into the world to do everything, but to do something.”

No one of us is going to “solve” poverty, the school dropout rate, homelessness or greed, but each of us, joining with others, can chip away at them with our choices and actions.

Nancy Minard - Editorial Team

 

Copyright © October 2011 - The Fig Tree