These are lyrics to the John Denver song Rocky Mountain High, and I feel like they are the perfect words to wrap up the 2012 year. Another year is over, a new one is beginning, and we all have experienced so much. We have made new memories, made new friends, cherished the old friends, tried something new, taken a risk, traveled down a different path, or made our own path. We all have spent another year as us, learning as we went along. I know that since being in Lesotho, I speak for a lot of us when I say that we learned a lot. During our meeting the other night, a lot of people were talking about their frustration at how we are here for three weeks making a difference, but then what? What happens when we go home? How can it be okay that we go home to so much and we still leave the Basotho with so little? What can we take with us when we go home?
I know that something I’ve really come to realize in the last year is that we are here on earth for each other. Life is about giving to others. It is about giving yourself and your time. One of my best friends once told me that the most precious thing that you can give someone is your time. We are here in Lesotho, working on projects, building houses, painting classrooms, building playgrounds, dancing with kids, singing, playing soccer, and making them smile and laugh. In doing all of these things, we are giving our time; that is worth a whole lot, and that is what we can take with us when we go home. We can take the idea that it’s not about us, but it’s about what we can do for others to make their lives more joyful. We can continue to give, to care, to smile, to love.
There is a John Denver quote that I will always carry with me: “I believe that we are here for each other, not against each other; everything comes from an understanding that you are a gift in my life–whoever you are, whatever our differences.” This is what I want to take with me into the new year. I want to take the focus off of myself and my stresses and put it onto others and what I can do to spread joy to their lives. What is life without making people feel special? What is life without relationships? What is life without the people around you? None of us are poor who embrace the people in our lives. As we go into the new year, we should all remember that our lives are rich with friends and family and the amazing people that surround us. As I sit here in Lesotho, I know I feel so incredibly blessed to be surrounded with the amazing people on this trip. May we all enter the new year together, hand in hand, spreading joy to each and every heart around us.
Happy New Year from Lesotho
P.S. A few certain folk are really hoping that their parents record the ball drop since we won’t get to see that…just a heads up haha