There are a lot of reasons why someone would join the Peace Corps. Maybe to travel, learn another language, or the experience of living abroad. But I don’t think most people would admit that a lot of times its because they want to find an identity. Now u may know who u are, what u want, and where u want to go, but that doesn’t mean u have an identity. An identity is the Fact of being who or what a person is. The Fact, of what u are. It is a strange term to put into that context. I know who I am, I know what I am, but I cannot say that I am the Fact of my being. That would mean that I am undisputedly exact and without variance. Which I know is not the case.
Everyone joins Peace Corps for a certain reason, and to me all those reasons are legitimate. But I honestly think, within Peace Corps, we are all looking for something. We want some blinking sign that says where to go or what to do. A sign that we discover, in a moment of darkness, that brings us back in to the warm, glowing light we want to be in. Maybe we weren’t even in darkness, but just a rut that we were stuck in. Or maybe no rut at all, and we were just looking for a change and did something we always wanted to do. But that doesn’t change the fact that where we were, compared to where we want to be, is a far away and distant place. I don’t think someone completely content with there life would join Peace Corps. Its either something you have always wanted to do, which shows in the amount of over 60 year old + volunteers that we have. Something you feel could lead to something great or make a difference, which is where all us 20-somethings come into play. Or something to take you away from where you never thought u would be, which is where the in-betweens come in. You could have had a great job, but decided u wanted to take a different path, and that is why u are here. Whatever the case, it all comes down to one thing I think… Identity
Being lost in a world that wants production and advancement 24 hours a day, we can sometimes be shoved under the rug. Or maybe you own the rug, and realize, you know what, rugs are over rated. I don’t want a rug. Maybe I like hard word floors, or maybe I like linoleum for my floors. They are easier to clean. Either way, something strikes each of us in a way that we know we are not who we wished out to be.
So we join Peace Corps. To save the world and all that crap. It’s about seeing a child’s smile when they learn about bla bla bla. Most of us go into a sector or job that we aren’t trained for, and get only beginner training for it at best. We realize that a lot of time will be spent arguing about nonsense and not actually putting into place life changing polices or programs for children. And the best part about being a Peace Corps Volunteer is when you realize that.
Countries like Armenia have a very rich and deep history. And even though Peace Corps has been here for almost 20 years, Armenians have their own beliefs and ways about doing what they think is the correct way to do things. Now. I would never come in to this country and say, “Well we do it better in America because we do it this way.” No way. Even if it is true… that will never come out of my excessively, large lipped mouth. I would rather learn how they do it; maybe offer some suggestions, if asked. And then I would do the same thing in a way that they have never seen before, only to compare the two. This way, they can take solid principles of what they know, and add new ideas that they could honestly see working better in their society. That is called utilizing a reference for positive change. Amen and all the more power to u if u can get this done.
So back to Identity. We all look for it. We all want it. Maybe in High School u were the Captain of the Cheer Leading team. In college u were playing NCAA sports and fighting for the national championship. Or maybe u were Joe Schmo working at 7-11 making my coffee at 8am when I was running late for work. I appreciate that by the way Joe. Either way, the point is that we all strive to find that calling. The calling that makes us lose sleep and decline invitations for drinks cause we think an hour more of focusing at work will make all the difference. It could be anything in the world, or it could be something u have always known, just never had the guts to realize. Anyway u put it, u want it to become your identity. Your zest for life; Your reason for breathing. The only thing u want to do for the rest of your life because u have decided that this thing, this thing is all u ever wanted. And once you have found it, u wont let it go, or let if waiver. It’s in the air u breath, and its in your dreams at night. It is your identity as a person. You. Maybe it’s a Job, or a Person, or a Cause. Either way, it’s a direction u know u want to move in.