Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Allow Yourself to be Inspired

I am so thankful to have had the opportunity to listen to a panel of three
truly inspirational men speak at Tufts yesterday. Peter Luckow, Mark
Arnoldy, and Jon Schaffer, all former GlobeMedders, spoke with such
eloquence and passion about what got them interested and keeps them
interested in global health, how to remain involved in public health after
college or GlobeMed, and their view on the way HIV/AIDS is currently being
dealt with.
As a new member, relatively uninformed and ininspired, the panel was truly
eye-opening. Peter spoke about a “catastrophic lack of imagination” in
battling HIV/AIDS, giving the example of Liberians in rural areas dying of
AIDS while the treatment they needed was sitting in warehouses in the
capitol. Apparently there were no doctors present in these areas to
administer the treatment. Mark Arnoldy told us about his health problems as
a child, admitting that were it not for the vast resources available to him
and his family, he wouldn’t physically be the person he is today. More
recently, while in Nepal during a national strike, Mark almost died from a
peanut allergy. Throughout their still young careers, events like these
have made Peter, Mark, and Jon, not only aware of some of the injustices in
public health, but also frustrated, indignant, and truly inspired to try to
make a change. They were all alluding to the fact that this sort of passion
is what it takes to have a meaningful career in public health, and the only
way to develop this passion was to learn, internalize, and then to
experience first hand. Their inspiration was contagious. Listening to their
stories and thoughts, I couldn’t help but feel what they felt, and neither
could the other members of GlobeMed at Amherst who came. After the panel,
we all stood in a circle and eagerly bounced around ideas, thoughts, plans
for the future. It was really exciting!
Looking back at our most recent individual giving campaign, I asked ten
friends and relatives for donations with “heartfelt” e-mails, then patted
myself on the back as if my job here was done. I didn’t feel any sense of
urgency. Coming to the panel taught me a little more about the injustice in
access to health faced by so much of the world, and the scale of the work
yet to be done. It also showed me what it takes, and what it looks like
to dedicate a part ourselves to our cause. I would recommend anybody who
hasn’t been to any conferences, panels, or even skyped with Mercedes, to do
so at least once. It has the potential to change the way you think about
GlobeMed and what it does. Once again, thanks to Mark, Jon, and Peter for
an inspiring night.
by Philip Hendrix

No comments:

Post a Comment