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Monday, February 7, 2011


Today I volunteered at Books for Africa- a large organization which sends millions of books (over 25 million) to Africa, primarily textbooks ranging from kindergarden to post-secondary education levels, to those without "at the moment". Whenever I say something like "without" or "don't have" or anything that leans towards lack, I always say "at the moment" or "yet" because I believe magic is always at work behind the scenes.

"At the moment" (haha) I am at Starbucks. My intent was to get a table by the window at Barnes where I always sit but every isle in the store was filled with people who were waiting for the opportunity to meet and greet the in-store guest, Russell Simmons. Most guests, ok, 98% of them were African American. A similar situation but different aggregation turned out when Laura Bush made an in-store appearance last summer. I wonder, why must one limit their means of motivation and inspiration from one who physically and perhaps socially most resembles themselves? In a store with thousands of choices, why choose a voice that sounds familiar? I think of those in Africa who may only have access to one leisure read, ever, which they likely will read over and over. One choice. So as Americans, with choices so abundant, why one so undeviating? Emotions are universal; people are people. Why not relate emotionally and intellectually in the foreground with those in a dissimilar background- in untold hues and in foreign locations? Why as Americans are we such creatures of habit and not of opportunity?

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