Teresa is from Haddon Township, NJ and graduated from Notre Dame is 2013. This is Teresa's second year with Loretto Volunteers, having served in St. Louis from 2013-2014. This year she is working with Loretto's NGO at the United Nations in New York City.
So far, this year has been a major exercise in gaining perspective. Now in my third term as a professional volunteer, I realize that the interconnectedness of all beings and all of nature is a notion that has been floating around in my head for quite some time. After four months representing the Loretto Community at the United Nations, however, I can honestly say this notion has never felt so concrete. Of course, as you might expect, having concrete ideas in one’s head can weigh heavily on one’s mind. Suddenly, every decision I make, from casting a vote in a US presidential primary to deciding how many squares of toilet paper to use at a given time, has implications beyond reckoning. Suddenly everything I own or consume I do so at the expense of someone else. Suddenly, by virtue of my dependence on, and participation in, massive, unjust systems, my individual capacity to do harm looms larger than my capacity to do good. Suddenly, no amount of knowledge can do more than scratch the surface of an essential understanding of the world. Suddenly, I am small, unsettled and oppressed by the very systems designed to give me power and privilege. I begin to grasp Marianne Williamson’s statement that “our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.”