I am practising these last few days an appreciation of my feelings and what I have because usually when I learn something new I feel sad for not knowing it before, I feel guilty for not have made enough effort earlier to know these things, and then I start wishing I’ve read of all philosophers, physicist, economists, poets, politicians, etc … I wish I studied all theories, history, experiments, art … I feel jealous although admiring of people who are more knowledgeable, and if there is a moment when I feel completely humble and my ego goes to zero is when I’m listening to a wise knowledgeable person. So I decided to take it easy on myself and just appreciate whenever I learn something new and feel thankful that at least now I know it. In other words, seeing the glass half full or as someone once said, seeing the glass “beautiful”.

Honestly coming to the US opened my eyes on a lot, A LOT of things and on the top of that list there is “Me”. This fellowship’s slogan being “change the perspective, change the world” seems at the end not enough to describe the impact that it had on me. It definitely changed my perspective on many subjects, but more than that it has been transformational that sometimes I feel overwhelmed and I get the feeling that coming here was a sort of re-born for me, it was a breakthrough and an opportunity to challenge many beliefs and ideas although I was pretty much aware and knowledgeable already but this is the amazing thing about learning, is that every time it’s exciting and it’s forever endless.

Today I want to enjoy learning and appreciate growing constantly without feeling bad about the time spent of my first 31 years learning something else or what I perceived till today as learning slower than I wish.
Safa Hajjaj
Atlas Corps Fellow from Morocco
Class 16, serving at Meridian International Center.

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