Friday Angst: philanthropy and donuts

Photo courtesy of http://www.guardian.co.uk

Ok, I have a confession to make: I’ve been holding out on you.

I’ve been scouring my teenage journals for entries that have just the right blend of angst and sophistication. There are not many.

The journals are mostly filled with mortifying ramblings on boys, self-righteous diatribes on the stupidity of the human race, deep philosophical treatises on the meaning of life and the value of the SATs…you get the idea.

It’s getting hard to find entries that don’t make me want to crawl into a hole and die for ever having been the melodramatic teenager I was.

So I give up. I offer you my humble, tormented teenage heart on a plate.

I may regret it.

May 28, 1996, Wednesday, 10:45pm

(Age 15)

I decided today that I am going to join a group and build houses for Third World country people.

It’s something I’ve thought about–and after Social Sciences class today, I decided I’m going to do it. We watched a video about New Mexico. Those poor, poor people live in pieces of rotting wood barely held together and sinking in mud and waste. They are born there–have no place to go and no way to improve their horrid, stinking lives.

I want to go out there and help them. I want to build them stable houses and give them clothes to shield their bodies from the earth.

I feel guilty sitting in my safe, warm bedroom in my clean house, taking a shower each morning, indulging myself with donuts for breakfast, being educated, being born into a future while these people don’t even own a past.

I want to give them both. A past and a future–because I believe that if I have such a great life, others deserve one as well, and if they can not gain one on their own, people must help them. And I want to be one of those people.

Beyond these walls of my clean, white, safe house, I can not really fathom the existence of such places. This, I know, is spoiled. I can’t see beyond these walls. But I have to. I must know it’s there. And in so doing, write about it, and let others know it is there as well, so none of us can claim to be blind.

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