Sunday, December 15, 2013

This I Believe...


During our annual 10 day Global health awareness campaign, we held a lighting event inspired by NPR's "This I Believe" series. On December 10th, the quad was beautifully lit up with string lights and This I Believe statements written by students on campus. Some chapter members also volunteered to write longer statements about what they believed in. Please take some time to read the statements, and perhaps you'll be inspired to reflect on your own fundamental beliefs. 

Ornella Noubissie Wafo ‘16
 I believe in a population that knows about the side effects of globalization. I believe in an active Ministry of Health that educates the people on the health consequences of appealing foreign treats like pizzas and cheeseburgers. I believe in people who are aware that the current epidemic rise in chronic illnesses like diabetes in many African countries is not necessarily because of witchcraft but rather a result of unhealthy food and life choices. I believe in a world where the state/institutions and the people strive together to create a safe, informed and healthy community. 

 Lawrence Yu ‘15 
I believe in tolerance among people. I believe in their having enough empathy not to belittle or think less of others not as fortunate or as well off as them, but to help them better themselves and their lives. We get more done if everyone feels appreciated and wanted, when people feel like they have something to prove to others. By fostering dialogue among different interest groups, ways can be found that can benefit everyone. 

Reynaldo Pena ‘17
I believe in dreams. I believe that we should all have the opportunity to make our dreams true. I believe in the power of education. I believe in its capacity not only for social advancement but also to foster a better understanding of ourselves and the world. I believe in happiness. I believe in humanity, and its capacity to make a positive change in the world.

CJ Bernstein ‘15
I believe that all type one diabetics should have access to the same life-changing resources and technologies. When my little sister was diagnosed with type one diabetes in 2001 at age seven, my family was lucky enough to be able to provide her with the best doctors, the newest technologies (even some that hadn’t been FDA approved yet as part of a trial at Yale), consistent healthy meals, and a strong support system. Jackie has done a fantastic job managing her diabetes and is doing really well. What has always struck me though is that these components of a successful system of managing diabetes are not available to everyone. There are kids in the developing world who don’t have consistent access to insulin and clean syringes. There are kids in America who can’t afford insulin pumps. None of these kids did anything wrong to get diabetes. Their immune systems malfunctioned on no fault of their own. Why should some die from a completely manageable disease? Why should the daily struggle of some type one diabetics be infinitely greater than others? It shouldn’t be. 

Keelin Moehl ‘16
This I believe: I believe everyone should have the freedom to explore. I believe that money or time constraints should not ever hold anyone back from experiencing the unknown. I believe that humans are naturally curious, and that this curiosity should not ever be stifled by the burdens placed upon us by fellow humans, or because of the fear of the unknown. I believe in the words of Dylan Thomas, who tells us we should not go gentle into that good night, and I believe that everyone should feel free enough and confident enough to take a deep breath and take an exhilarating step into the unknown. I believe that inside, we are all extraordinary. 

Scarlet Im ‘17
This I believe: that everyone should have the ability and desire to feel young. I believe that everyone should be able to express that childish wonder with the world in the midst of the responsibilities and struggles of the adult world. We need to hold onto the innocent fascination we felt as children with, for example, our first snowfall or our first day at the beach. We need to hold onto our passions and unhindered ambitions for our dreams. However, to feel young, we must take care of our health. I believe that public health should be a human right that should be advocated in all countries. Only when a person is healthy, can he or she explore aspects of life outside of mere survival needs. Being healthy correlates positively with feelings of happiness, and I know that one of the aspects of youth that the older population is jealous of is a child’s health (and his or her energy). While it is wise to grow maturely with proper ethics, I believe we should promote physical and mental health so that all of us could stay young at heart.

Emily Bai ‘16
This I believe in the power of human interactions to enrich our lives and promote wellness. I believe that it has the capability to encourage a struggling student, to bring peace to a community, to mend relationships, to heal a patient… Whether it’s a gentle touch or a rowdy fight, having those shared experiences are critical in tackling this daunting world. This is nowhere more relevant than in health and medicine. In the doctor’s office, perhaps treating symptoms isn’t enough but genuine care or a comforting touch might be the missing ingredient to ease a patient’s suffering. In GlobeMed and other global health organizations, we know that to have someone support and believe in you during a time of despair can make all the difference.  Thus I believe that we need to practice these interactions, and we need to engage with all our senses to understand the other and maximize the power of human interactions.

Caroline Nguyen, GlobeMed National Program Director
I believe that everyone is an expert in something and no one is an expert in everything. I could take years of physics classes and explain to you exactly how friction affects the speed at which physical objects can travel, but I could never explain to someone the history of Chicago politics or why poinsettias are the color red or how best their little sister likes her peanut butter sandwich made. There are some things I know and some things I don't know. Everyone knows something, but nobody knows everything. That's why talking to others and listening to others -- the foundations of collaboration -- can open so many doors into new topics, ideas, perspectives, and experiences.

Rosalind Dillon, GlobeMed National Program Director
I believe that any factor, genetic predispositions aside, that decreases somebody's possibility of reaching their full potential as a human being is unjust. I know that these injustices exist in abundance, but I also know the things necessary to combat injustice - love, knowledge, perseverance and hope - exist in abundance as well. 

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