“Tendría más problemas reales y menos imaginarios.” /“I would have more real problems and fewer imaginary problems.” –Instantes, Jorge Borges

I came across this line while reading “Instantes” by Jorge Borges in Spanish class last week.  The speaker in the poem is nearing the end of his life and is reflecting on what he would change about himself if he could go back and relive his life.

Of course, these days just about everything reminds me of the Peace Corps, but while reading the poem, this line stood out as a real truth about why many people choose to serve.

We’re trying to grapple with “real” problems–problems that are larger than ourselves and our own immediate needs.  Problems of poverty, of inequity, and of injustices.

It’ll be a challenge to keep a healthy perspective of “real” versus “imaginary” problems on a daily basis, but I hope that we all have success in doing this, and in solving “real” problems throughout our service.

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2 Responses to Instantes

  1. Amy Yanni says:

    Could talk for hours about your post. Two things that have helped me is:
    to start small and to work with others. A lot of big problems might have been solved when they were smaller. And, two heads are most often better than one. Also more fun. We’re not going eradicate poverty or secure justice for all. We just might help some of the people we encounter gain some skills, have a chance to work with their neighbors, and raise questions about how they might want to change their community. We step in often where others have started projects that we will need to nourish so they continue to thrive. I see us a part of a much larger process. You may not be able to point to any specific change you can attribute to yourself, but over time, your efforts, combined with those of many others, could result in significant good for the people you served.


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