I am sitting in the lobby of the hotel watching the sun rise in the Holy City (I am still making up for oversleeping a few days ago), and I can’t help but lament the state of the world today. It is not a political thing, it is simply the truth from the bottom of my heart. I don’t know what will happen when we return on Monday, or how I can write a 25-page paper about the things we have seen. How can we possibly describe all of the things we have seen in the last week? Between the countless incredible sights and sounds of Israel and the exhaustion that set in from traveling and trying to keep up with the class, I have not had time to sort out all of the emotions that have been racing through my mind.
All I can say is that I hope that everyone on this trip, and everyone following along on the blog, will take a moment to reflect on the implications of human rights today. As far as we have come technologically and socially, we find ourselves in the same quandaries that people have faced for thousands of years: warring for resources and domination of people that are different from ourselves. Many people live comfortable lives and are fortunate enough to provide for their families, and yet countless more live in the most dire circumstances. It is not about which country should do this and which country needs to do that, it is simply a reflection of what we see in the world today.
In any case, I am hopeful. If anything, this trip has shown me the power of people to overcome adversity and the everlasting desire for peace. I fully expect to see peace in our time, even if some of the people here and around the world would not agree. We have an opportunity to give people the hope that they have thirsted for, so long as we go back home and tell others of what we saw here. It is up to us to help as many people as we can regardless of race, ethnicity, country, gender, age, and religion. I am truly grateful to be on this trip and have an unforgettable experience with my 30 colleagues and three honorable professors who were willing to take us.