humanity Archives - St. Stephen's University

My pilgrimage through Assisi

By 2011, Europe No Comments

Today I roam Assisi alone. The city is on a mountainside, overlooking miles of farmland. After our visit to San Damiano church, where St. Francis himself first took up his ministry, we individually began our hikes back up to the city of Assisi. For the first time on this trip, I truly felt my pilgrimage coming to life. As a descendant of both German Catholics (mother’s side) and French Huguenots (father’s side), my journey has been one of truly attempting to dissect identity, specifically my own.

During my journey through Assisi, I encountered three South Korean girls about my age, who were self-proclaimed tourists. Through conversation and sharing with the one who spoke English, I learned that she too was a Christian, and we connected on many levels. I spent about half an hour with these tourists, and what I found changed much of the way I view tourists. They took their time everywhere they went, and were in awe at the beauty they witnessed. They greeted every nun they passed with respect. Though they weren’t on a proclaimed ‘spiritual journey’, they too are finding parts of themselves in travel; enjoying the world. I find that many of us, in travels, come to despise tourists.

Just as I can be both a descendant of Huguenots and Catholics, we are all inextricably bound in each other’s humanity. Just as St. Francis knew: we should learn to love, and not to judge. Where there is hatred, let us sow love.

– Madi

My responsibility

By 2010, Europe No Comments

Our history is a linear one – from our parents to us the history of mankind falls into our hands. Thus, understanding our culture, the culture of western civilization, becomes pertinent to us when the torch of civilization is passed down to us. Essentially, the epitome of humanity is the individual, thus the individual, through inter-personal interaction, determines, then defines what it is to be human. Travelling Europe gives to us the opportunity to witness the culture that was once changed, advanced, altered, and contributed to by individuals who had the power of will to assert their creative influence and ultimately, however grand or minute, they have changed the course of history. From the architects that designed the Eifel tower, to the eccentric painter who taught us to perceive the world as impressions, we study them all because it is our responsibility to do so. As equal sharers in humanity it falls to us to either improve what it means to be human, or degrade it. It is my responsibilty.

Aaron R.

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