The Cortina experience gave me a very real and human perspective on some of the most pressing social justice issues facing our world today. Most notably, my experience focused heavily on immigration. Through a half-week service trip and weekly volunteering at Pixan Ixim in south Omaha, I was presented with a salient example of the plights of modern immigrants in my own backyard. Relaxing around a dinner table and swapping stories in quasi-Spanglish was the best context for learning about individual immigrants’ decisions for coming to the U.S., their unique struggles within our own city, and their hopes and dreams for their lives. Nowhere in textbooks or newspaper articles could I find stories like I heard through immigrants firsthand. Combined with the information I was presented from the Cortina ethics class and conversations with fellow students, the valuable experiences in Cortina gave me a balanced view of the multi-faceted nature of immigration, as well as many other topics such as gay marriage, human trafficking, sustainability, the death penalty, etc.
Though my Cortina experienced has long since ended, the critical lens through which I view social justice issues continues to hone itself within the context of my education, my career decisions, and my political views. As a future dentist, I am cognizant of healthcare difficulties facing immigrants. My aim is to one day provide low-cost dental services to various under-treated populations. As a citizen, I try to be aware of current events affecting unjust practices in our world by listening to NPR, voting, and engaging with people of different worldviews than mine. Truly, the Cortina experience has shaped the way I approach my life. I live with greater gratitude for the opportunities afforded me. However, the concept of social justice mandates more than mere reflection. Social justice demands action, just as love demands action. And it is through my actions that I hope to continually live out the values I acquired through my time at Creighton and in Cortina.
One word to describe my Cortina experience: galvanizing
-Theresa Greving, A Cortinian from 2009-2010
As I watched the snow come down late Tuesday night (or early Wednesday morning), I couldn’t help but have a small desire to have my classes canceled yesterday. I’m sure many of you were thinking the same thing to be met with either excitement or disappointment yesterday morning as you checked your emails to see if you would have to trudge your way to class. As I thought about it more, however, I realized that we should be grateful for the privilege to be able to attend a top-tier private university. There are so many people across the world and even in the U.S. that have an intense desire to attend school and receive even a basic education. Some of them would even kill for even the slightest chance to attend a one-room school dozens of miles away, and we (myself certainly included) complain about having to walk a few hundred feet to go to our classes.
I don’t think we ever fully realized how truly blessed each one of us is. We all have so many gifts, talents, treasures, friends, and families that bless our lives. I encourage all of you to stop and think about just one thing in your life that you feel truly blessed to have received. A friend that was put in your life, a mentor that has taught you a lot, a favorite material good that has improved your life. I encourage you to take the time to reflect on how this thing has made a difference in your life and just be grateful. Take the time to appreciate what you have and what you will receive, and don’t be afraid to pay it forward.
p.s. I’m sure many of you have seen this video, but in case you haven’t, think of this the next time you are having a rough day or are struggling to embrace your abilities.
First in line at Best Buy in Aiea are, from left, Kyleen Krugh, Chevas Miyashiro, Zachary Fletcher, Latoya Artis and Adam Pobrero. At around 2:30 p.m. the group said grace before partaking in their Thanksgiving meal.
From green beans and creamy mashed potatoes to cheap flights and great deals, millions of Americans, 247 million to be exact, found time this past Black Friday to make the most of retailers’ door buster deals and promotions, both in stores and online. Many Americans stood in line for hours to be first in the stores. These lucky few managed to observe Thanksgiving while in line at a Best Buy in Hawaii. With stores opening at 7:00pm on Thanksgiving Day, what is the point of celebrating Thanksgiving? Has it become a prequel to Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, Cyber Monday… and now Thanksgiving Thursday? Have we as a consumerist society lost the true value of family time and the meaning of thanks?
For me Thanksgiving is a relaxing time spent with Ohana (family) and friends where we share a nice meal and enjoy each other’s company. Where I can reflect on the year and appreciate everything and everyone in my life. Especially the big man watching from above! Thanksgiving is where I can acknowledge God, and thank Him for His profuse blessings and lessons He has taught me.
The Lord is near. Do not worry about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God (Philippians 4:5-6).
Throughout the holiday season whether that be having a nice meal with family and friends, going shopping at three in the morning, or singing songs by the fireplace, do what makes you happy and what is important to you and your family. But always keep in your hear the meaning of thanks and always be grateful for the joys that surround you.