Everyone has a place on the table. Well supposedly. Unfortunately in America we compare our place on the table to those immediately around us. In a lucky lifetime though I believe one will venture far from the table to see those who are in the back cooking. Or better yet those who are outside of the house. A couple times I myself have had a privilege of talking with the beggar. However much of your interaction with someone is determined by the company you keep. At my time in El Salvador I had the pleasure of going with other Greek affiliated people. Over my time here I dug holes, played with orphans, talked with the impoverished, broke rocks, washed dishes and painted walls. Through these eye opening experiences I am reminded that my place on the table is all too privileged. Back at home I know brothers who also venture outside the dining room. Nick for instance is going across country with his phi kap brothers to help raise money for leukemia. Bob helped make an annual IFC philanthropy in which snow is brought down from the mountains to help mentally challenged children learn through sensory skills. Ghandi said be the change you want to see in the world. I realized that as I became someone who worked hard for the world around me I saw more and more people who work hard for the world around them. This is a free radicals. Our care and love was started long before the Greeks, and will continue long after our forefathers. Sure since our creation we have a muddled history, and very unclear present. We have all heard the reply “your in a sorority?” even if you just told the person you’re in the fraternity Sigma Phi Epsilon. We have an apathetic brother or sister. But here as in many parts of the world there is hope. Why have we lost hope? And if we haven’t lost hope why are we not going out and helping the hungry outside our door?
Mark Gilpatrick is a senior at the University of California Riverside, and a member of Sigma Phi Epsilon.