Throughout my internship the people surrounding me lived very different lives than I. Despite the differences, the human characteristics they showed and employed in daily life created a mind shift that I will strive to maintain.
While I was in Liberia I noticed many traits in the people, but one trait that was eminent throughout all was optimism.
Amidst the Liberian people's daily challenges and struggles, everyone displayed a sense of hope. They may have been poor, hungry, struggling, sick - anything or any combination - and they still had a smile on their face, ready to tackle the day. Now don't get me wrong, the pain in their eyes was apparent as well.
From this experience I am able to learn a lot. I would consider myself to be an optimist, but that same trait has roots in multiple other characteristics.
For example, I saw stemming from that optimism was determination, perseverance, gratitude, and acceptance. This showed me that I need to be more appreciative for what I've been given, despite what my hopes were/are. Alongside this, I've learned that my challenges are small comparatively. I may be having difficulties with something such as deadlines, but I am not fighting for my next meal.
Everything was put into perspective.
I know that this time in Africa has and will [continue to] change my. My goals have not changed, they've only been elevated. Additionally, the rewards of accomplishing such goals will be redirected towards helping the Liberian people and their situation.