Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Public Interest and thoughts..

A few days ago I wrote of the conflicting emotions that sometimes arise when working in the public interest. Today I listened to JK Rowlings commencement speech at Harvard. This is easily the best speech I've ever heard. An excerpt:

If you choose to use your status and influence to raise your voice on behalf of those who have no voice; if you choose to identify not only with the powerful, but with the powerless; if you retain the ability to imagine yourself into the lives of those who do not have your advantages, then it will not only be your proud families who celebrate your existence, but thousands and millions of people whose reality you have helped transform for the better.

My status and influence is perhaps questionable. Whether I influence thousands or millions of people through my work remains to be seen. But if I can use my meager status to influence one small school board to help one disabled child, I guess it really hit me today, I have done something that mattered.


Shawna said...

I think that what you do is admirable and inspirational, masha'Allah. It takes a lot of strength to be in your line of work, and I'm sure the children you help or try to help appreciate what you do. If not now, then later insha'Allah. Too many children are robbed of a voice based on disability.

Tee said...

Wow - what a great quote!

Zeens said...

You also influence me and probably everyone else that comes across your blog. :)

Aisha said...

Shawna, aww thanks :)

Tee, if you get a chance you should hear her speech... as struggling writers, its inspiring too.

Zeens- okay you just made me blush, that is the sweetest thing you said, thanks...can't wait to see you soon!!!

Anonymous said...

I'm a lurker, but I just wanted to comment to let you know that that's exactly what I needed to hear tonight! (Sometimes we don't even know the good we're doing for others.)

Aisha said...

Thanks anon, and thanks for telling me. It helps to know what you said meant something to someone! :)

Jibonjatri said...

I was slightly bummed that they are having Rowling for the commencement (I had higher expectation, lol) and then she turned out pretty good. I also liked where she talked about failure.

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