Monday, January 23, 2012

Ruined - by Matthew Niehaus

It’s been 7 years since as a naive high school junior I traveled to Duran, Ecuador with a group of my classmates and two teachers to live in solidarity with the Ecuadorian people.  A great deal has happened in my life since then; I graduated from high school, moved to the Bronx to attend and graduate from Fordham University, applied and was accepted to medical school, and am now living in Philadelphia where in just a year and a half, will graduate and become a doctor—a prospect that absolutely terrifies me.  Life was easier before my trip, before truly knowing exactly the inequalities and injustices that are present in the world.  That trip, as one of my fellow classmates so astutely said, “ruined” us—it shattered the protective bubble we lived in, where it was all but too easy to get wrapped up in our “first world problems” that in today’s word, would manifest themselves as trying to decide between the Iphone or Droid, Starbucks or Dunkin-Donuts, Pepsi or Coke, BMW or Mercedes, and the list goes on.  In one week though, I will leave all my first world problems behind and return to Ecuador, this time as a somewhat jaded and sometimes confused young medical student.
I have been asked by many people over the past few months many questions about my trip.  The most commonly asked question, and one that I have been thinking a great deal about over the past few weeks, is “what do you hope to get out of this trip?”  First and foremost, I hope this trip reminds me why I chose to become a doctor.   I hope it reminds me of the awesome obligation and the immense responsibility I will have to others, whoever they may be.  To remind me of how blessed I have been, and continue to be.  
In one week I’ll be leaving behind my comfortable city apartment, my cell phone, constant and unrestricted internet access, and my family and friends to go and get ruined again—and I am looking forward to every minute of it.

1 comment:

  1. Which is better Pepsi or Coca-Cola?
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