Friday, September 17, 2010

Day 260- SMART Grants, napkins and sea shores

Dear Mr. President,

Today has been a great day. First, I'd like to thank you for a bit of good news I received today. Instead of taking out the small subsidized loan I'd been offered this year, I've just been awarded a National SMART grant. This is incredibly reassuring. The loan I was planning to take out this year wasn't huge compared to my total debt, but I'm still happy to avoid borrowing at all. I know I am incredibly lucky to be given this grant, especially when so many other students in my situation are seeing their debt levels continue to rise dramatically. I'm so grateful for the help.

Also today, I received a letter from my friend serving in the Peace Corps. I miss hearing her voice and seeing her every day. I miss our pancake mondays, our walks around greenlake and our heated political discussions that usually devolved into a general discussion about how much we want to marry Jon Stewart. I love reading her letters and hearing the details of her life in Burkina Faso, but I think part of her letter to me was actually meant for you:

It says: "I stole you a napkin from the embassy =) There is a sweet picture of Obama hanging in the embassy. It makes me so happy to see it. I'm still proud he's our president."

I don't think I could say it any better.

The last thing that made today great was this story a friend sent me on facebook about Israeli women helping Palestinian women sneak across the border for illegal day trips to the beach. A quote from one of the brave Israeli women interviewed struck me as particularly moving. "We want more Israelis to realise that there is nothing to be scared of. We want more people to refuse to accept the ideology that keeps us apart – and to just refuse to be enemies."

There is nothing to be scared of. I refuse to accept divisive ideology. I refuse to be enemies.

These are powerful, wise words. And the simple act of taking these Palestinian women and their children to see the ocean shows how ordinary citizens can fight injustice through simple acts of kindness. I think maybe these women should replace Netanyahu and Abbas for the peace talks. Something tells me they'd make a lot more progress.

Respectfully yours,


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