Blues Abroad

As I put fingers to keyboard this morning, I’m conscious of the fact that at this very moment we have UCC boys on service trips in Nepal, China,  Peru, and Kenya. A cynic might say this has more to do with our snack bracket than our social conscience, but I’ll let that snide comment pass.

While there is a certain irony in driving past the needy of Toronto on our way to Pearson Airport, international and domestic service don’t need to be mutually exclusive.

Occasionally, when I find myself pushing character education, someone will suggest that doing so can distract us from the pursuit of academic excellence. Nothing could be further from the truth. If character is about anything, it’s about self-discipline and delaying gratification, two key ingredients in scholastic success.

I think it’s the same way with international service. Yes, it is an expensive experience. (And someday it would be great if we had an endowment that could make these trips available to all of our boys). In the meantime, though, learning to serve others in a far away locale can’t help but deepen the belief that we are all connected, and that the bonds that bind us run deep as well as far.

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