Love is the greatest

Our younger daughter had  finished her freshman year at University of North Carolina; this was in 2003.  Sometime during that sophomoric year, I remember having a phone conversation with her about selecting a major. She was considering English and Journalism.

Being, myself, one of those cognitive wanderers infamously known as English majors, I didn’t quite know what advice I could offer. But then it hit me–Journalism, no doubt about it. So that’s what I suggested.
I think I remember saying something like: “With a journalism degree, you’ll come out of there with some definite communication skills; I think that’s more beneficial, probably more marketable, than just spending the rest of your life in revising the literary canon, which is what we English majors tend to do.”

As Garrison Keillor likes to point out, the poetic sublimity most often cited from among the annals of English-majors’ legacy is the question: “Would you like fries with that burger, ma’am?”
By and by, my daughter chose the journalist’s road, and that has made all the difference.  Well, some of the difference anyway. Who knows how these milestone choices really alter our life-paths, anyway?

Anyway, our Katie obtained, like her sister Kim before her, the Journalism baccalaureate  from UNC; it was 2006.
And we all know what happened to the profession of journalism after that. Go figure.

Long story short, now she’s in Haiti working as a video-journalist, documenting the plight of the Haitian people to rebuild their country after the earthquake.
This morning I got an update from the guy who founded the Christian organization with which she is working.

In today’s blog, May 29, 2010, entitled Dreams while Beethoven slept, Seth wrote:

“Construction work is minimal because so many buildings have collapsed into rubble. What if you were to form not a construction business, but a destruction business? Offer to tear down and remove the rubble from buildings in exchange for a 10% share of the title of the underlying property. You could match up an economic need with a ready labor pool…”

As a former carpenter, I really like the way he’s thinking about this. This is the kind of work that needs to be done in the world today–and the kind of pragmatic analysis that precedes the work.  Here’s another profound question posed by Mr. Barnes, in response to what he was seeing in the earthquake aftermath:

“We talked about the chicken and pig raising businesses I’d run in Thailand in 1980. What if we were to loan them enough money to start a small poultry farm?”

As I considered these constructive questions that Seth Barnes is posing to himself and to the world…well, what more can I say? Check it out, among the many labors of love going down in the world today.


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