Written by Clare Rutz
My entire professional life has been built on failures. When I first got going I thought I was going to fix our country’s educational system. Then I taught public school in New York City for a quick second and realized only God himself could take on that task. Then, as many twenty-somethings do, I figured I would take a stab at global poverty. I vetted, visited, and temporarily helped small non-profits across Asia, but I was only as good as my commitment and, at 22, I still wanted to be important. So I moved to D.C. because that’s where important people move. In no time at all I figured out that theoretical work in a cubicle wasn’t really my cup of tea either.
The Peace Corps was my answer and in many ways it still is. My two and a half years in Senegal turned me upside down and inside out. And it was an uncomfortable process.
First, I learned that I will never be a capable farmer no matter how much Wendell Berry I read. Then, I learned that I am no one’s savior. I learned that the good work I always wanted to do is done through trust and understanding and, therefore, relationship. I learned there are certain people in this world who are selfless, champions of love, but they are rarely noticed. And as much as I want to be that kind of person, I may not have it in me, but I can find them, be near them, support and love them.
So when asked, What good can we do? I look to my failures to point me in the right direction.
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