Before I got to Johnson Service Corps, I had so much compassion and understanding for others, but I never had enough compassion for myself. This month, I learned how important self-love and respect is when are doing work in the world. Compassion for myself has saved myself in a sense. Being the youngest our group has been difficult. I have not seen the world as long as they have; therefore, I have not felt as mature and sometimes incompetent in comparison to them. There are genuinely amazing individuals, but I was letting that jealousy eat me up inside for a long time. I was searching to find what was wrong with me. What could I do to be just like my other housemates? Why was I not as funny as him or her? Why was I not as intelligent as him or her? Why was I so shy and awkward?
I never got an answer to any of those questions, but what I need to realize is that I am not them. I am but my own fruit. I cannot be a strawberry when all along I was meant to be a cherry– that is okay. I had to have a strong sense of love, respect, and compassion, for those I cannot change. I am made in the image of God, so I must accept that. If I want to become more I can change; however, I need to change that part of me to become better than my previous self and not better than anyone else.
–Jahkazia Richardson loves to nurture through cooking. This year she is working at Dress for Success.