Today’s class was particularly exciting both because the symposium provided a delicious (and free) lunch, and that I was able to listen to three very thought provoking presentations on topics I haven’t thought too much about previously. The first presenter’s story was inspiring, as I myself have a tendency to dream too big for reality. But in this case, this woman was able to pull off a local festival dedicated to improving awareness about local health. Through the power of conversation and dedication, she was able to mobilize our community into making strive towards change, and spread the importance of taking care of your emotional health. I was inspired by the woman’s ability to overcome her fear for the sake of accomplishing something that is truly important.
Dr. Spickard presented on the concept of sustaining our lives in the difficult world that we live in, with a particular emphasis on spiritual narratives in Catholic workers. It is always difficult to see images of Skid Row, and to hear statistics about the astronomical issues surrounding homelessness. However, it was uplifting to learn about the crafty ways that some religious folk, who are relentlessly dedicated to world peace, worked to improve the lives of the homeless. Hearing stories of volunteers going to court to prevent shopping carts from being taken away, working the system to keep Port-a-Pottys available, and making and blessing soup with a community to hand out for free was comforting. Sociologically speaking, I learned about the steadfast identity of most Catholics from their personal perspectives. It seemed to be a theme that whether or not these individuals liked it or not, they were tremendously firm in their identity as a Roman Catholic, and said that it made them who they are as a person.