18 December 2007

trying to find a place in this world

This week is finals week. As such, I have been working on a final paper for one of my classes. We were supposed to choose an ethnic conflict in the world, research it, and then write up our findings. I chose the Palestinian/Israeli conflict in Israel. Wow! I learned so much. I have really learned a lot from this class that I have taken and I have really been thinking a lot about the things that are going on in the world and my place in the world.

With every conflict going on in the world there is so much going on, so much history, so much background, so much culture that we don't know. We just hear or see little snippets of what is happening, but we really don't know. This class and this paper made me realize that we really need to make an effort to learn about what is going on in the world and understand the conflicts. It isn't really enough to just know that so and so are fighting about such and such in some far away land. And yet as we learn about the world, the more we realize how much we don't know. It's crazy, but at least then we won't think that we have all the answers.

It kind of amazes me how much my view of the world has changed over the past year. I'm an anthropology major and had the opportunity to volunteer in Uganda this summer which was the experience of a lifetime. Probably one of the most life-changing things that has happened in my life up to this point. Because of this experience and things I have learned in classes such as this one on war and another one on development I really want to understand what is happening in the world more. I want to stay more up to date with current events, but also know the background to those events. And then as I realize more and more how much I don't know and try to know more, I will be better able to understand the world that I live in and hopefully be able to make some small difference, in what way I don't know just yet. I'm working on that. Just trying to find my place in this world.