after returning from the gulf, I distributed the journal to family and friends that would have found interest in our journey. many replied offering their praises, pronouncing their pride. I found myself feeling badly, as though my sending it were a way of soliciting accolades. "i would not have been able to do it" many said. I did not understand that. which part would they not have been able to do? those who uttered those words were loving, giving, kind people. i did not feel special for having done it, i did not feel i was sacrificing (other than my paycheck and enduring the unbearable heat), i did not feel worthy of praise for just trying to help those in need. in fact i did not feel i helped enough. i'm not certain what i could have done that would have made me feel as though i had done enough. i never responded to those who emailed a reply.
the day before leaving i overheard someone say "i don't think i should have to pay for the misfortune of others". i think my internal, absolute gutteral inability to comprehend such sentiment was the only moment i felt pride in myself. i was proud to be a human being who cared about other human beings enough to pay in whatever way i could.