Thursday, January 8, 2009

Leadership and underlayers

So today was the day that I attended my 'prestigious' Leadership Conference and most of it was pretty great. I was afraid that I would get stuck with a deadbeat rich kid 'I don't need to lead, my parents are important' type of group but Luckly the people in my group were pretty friendly and down to earth.

My group leader was O-mazing. She really encouraged us to be outgoing and always know what we were doing, and she was really insightful and overall just a great teacher.

At the end of the day I felt like some of my group was like 'family' haha and we exchanged hugs and laughs. It felt amazing to be with like minded individuals who want to make a difference in our world. For once! A group of people with goals!

We had some speakers stop by, one was Yordanos Refu who was born a Ethiopian refugee, and while she was giving her speech (in a large theater filled with at least 400 people) she asked a question, and I raised my hand. And then she called on me and I spoke. And people were staring. And it felt great!

Then a girl who was attending Vanderbilt University spoke. Her speech touched me the most because she was trying to find a cure for Lupus. The thing that struck me was that she wasn't doing it for personal gain or publicity, she was doing it to find a cure for her mother that has the disease. Afterwards I had the opportunity to speak with her for a few moments, and she asked me what I really wanted to do. It wasn't until then that I realized that my life should have much greater purpose than being just a normal lawyer for hire, suddenly without even thinking I blurted out:

"Human rights. I want to defend and protect those that are being descrimated against wether it be race, religion, sexual orientation---- anything. I want them to know that they have a fighting chance."

And she smiled and told me that she had friends that working with a group that did that and she said that she could tell that no matter what I decided to do in the end, I would end up helping people. Even if she might've said that to anyone talking to her, I really felt she was being genuine, and deep down I felt honored to have had her opinion.

Even though many kids who went to this thing didn't take the situation seriously, I did. It was a very vital experience to know what I want to do with my life.

Haha, another fun point, I put one of the educational speakers on the spot! It was a prosthetics little thing where he was talking about all the great things that the uni had accomplished with prosthetics and how they had created a cheaper, but just as durable leg for third world countries. He bragged about how they had helped the people of Kenya, Sierra Leon, Malaysia, and how they had mission places set up to help the needy and unfortunate poor people of those areas. Good cause of course, but I thought there were other issues that had to be addressed. He asked for questions, I raised my hand then stood up, my heart pounding as a giant room full of people stared at me.

"Sir, what about the poor people that can't afford to pay the $2,000- $4,000 here in America for a prosthetic leg? Why don't they get affordable legs? Why are you just going to other countries?"

He just stared at me for a bit, then hesitantly answered saying that he didn't know. Then he mentioned some BS about how Healthcare takes care of it, but he stopped abruptly, and changed his train of thought and said it was something they would look into. I'm pretty sure that everyone in the room knew just how reliable Healthcare is for the poor.

I'm sorry mister young smart guy. I didn't mean to put you on the spot, but it makes me mad sometimes when people brag about helping other 3rd world countries, but neglect their own nation. Fix America before you fix something else.

Haha, maybe I should be an anchorwoman that asks tough questions and defends the weak!


  1. Wow, sounds like alot of fun. (=

  2. haha nice owning that guy! glad you enjoyed your conference!

  3. Sounds like it was fun :) And that poor guy... Heh, but you have a very good point. Help your own nation fall because when (and not if) we do, we'll take them all down with us.

  4. yes!! you got that guy! i can totally see you as some hard-ass, scary journalist or such.