Friday, April 11, 2014

Reflections: Hopeless

It's difficult to comprehend the level of hopelessness that we see on the reservation. Even with our years of experience working out there, we are still unable to completely grasp the severity of their existence. My wife and I grew up very differently and I am more familiar with living in poverty, but there is still a level of despair that I don't entirely associate with. I always knew that there were other possibilities for me and sadly that same level of vision doesn't exist for many on the reservation. It's why we see absurdly high alcoholism rates, rampant gang involvement, and heartbreaking suicide numbers. They are a people nation defined by the lack of hope.

When you see a people facing that depth of despondency you wonder what impact you can have on a short term trip. I'm not entirely sure how strong our influence is to be honest. I do know that the only way you can rescue those that are trapped in hopelessness is to show them that hope does exist. It isn't an easy process and we are fighting years of tradition and oppression. Abandoning them to a dark fate isn't an option as far as I'm concerned. We are either part of their solution or part of their problem. They may feel that they don't have choices, but we certainly do.

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