Thursday, January 7, 2010

I'll always miss you, and I'll always wish you'd been mine

Our group plus 100X Mission that we did a project with.

So this past week I got the amazing opportunity to visit Arizona. It was the farthest West I've ever been, and it was one of the most amazing trips I've ever been on. For starters, the conference I attended AHMI (a program designed to train students in the area of nonprofits and prepare them for a life of service) was so good. The students there were some of the smartest, most considerate, fun people I've ever met. There were 700 of us from all over the US, but with everyone I met it was like we'd been friends for years. I wish the rest of the world could catch on to our vision. Every student there shared a passion. We all want to move beyond the "Oh, that's terrible," to "Oh, that's terrible; let's try this to fix it." It was the perfect start to a new year, and since I could never make it mean to you what it meant to me, I'm going to condense it into a few special quotes and pictures and let you make your own observations and so find your own special meaning.

One of the most amazing things I heard-a seemingly offhanded comment saturated with wisdom-came from Todd Hornback. He said,

"The event [that we as people experience] is not as important as our relation to
that event."

And by this he simply meant that your outlook on anything that happens to you is more important than what actually happened. If you spill coffee on your notes, do you inwardly curse trees, costa rica, and Obama or do you immediately realize how unimportant notes are in the grand scheme of life, shrug and go on? Another thing he contemplated that really stuck with me is the "I Am Because You Are" mentality. No, this isn't the game played when you and your sister get tired and sassy in the backseat on the way home from the beach; It's the idea that everything we are is affected by the people we encounter. And if that's true, then also the reverse, everything they are is affected by you. So shouldn't we be more accountable for what we are and aren't doing to contribute to the lives of those around us?

Other quotes to consider and love include:

"Action may not always bring happiness, but there is no happiness without action." -Benjamin Disraeli

"Leadership is a combination of strategy and character . If you must be without one, be without the strategy." -Gen. H. Norman Schwarzkopf

"Recognize the connection between consumption and compassion. The two are no longer mutually exclusive. Support businesses or products that show the link between profit and purpose. The way you spend your money - the power of capitalism - can ultimately decrease the need for charity in the first place." - Robert Egger <
Look him up on his Website, HERE, or on his Twitter.

This conference gave me so much to think about, and so much to look forward to in the future, but it also exhausted my brain. On that note let's look at some pictures, where all you have to do is observe and adore the beauty and grandeur of God's creation.

Welcome to Phoenix. Looks a lot like FL if you ask me.
Miss Alice can tell us the validity of that statement.

This is Sedona; the picture comes nowhere near doing it justice.
It literally stole my breath.

Our tour guide made me pose. I'm kind of glad he did. The Grand Canyon is astounding.

The Alpine Forest. So peaceful.

Get your kicks where? Route 66.

Such a beautiful adventure in my life, and the most perfect way imaginable to begin the final semester of my college years. I hope you can experience something this beautiful this year.


Lesley said...

I am proud so proud of you. While so many other college students were on a ski trip, you went on a trip to learn how to give back to others. You have a heart of gold. We love you.

JennaPeyton said...

Thanks Mrs. Lesley, a lot of my character was developed as a direct result of you guys. I love you guys too!

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