There is no ME without YOU

This is a great book I read a few years back about Ethiopia, the culture, adoption, and one amazing woman.  I never really thought about the title, but all of a sudden, in one tiny moment, standing on a street in Ethiopia, I GOT it.

These people around me, my friends, my colleagues, make me the person I am.  With out them, I am not me, I do not have their wisdom, their experiences, their heart.

Sarah, Danny, Julie, Jill

Burtikan, visionary of YZM

On the job training with some of the greatest social workers I will ever work with!

Helina and Sibilu, amazing couple who took great care of us in Ethiopia

Then I thought back to home, my husband, my children, my extended family and colleagues.  They also make me who I am.

The Brower family

I spent a lot of my teen and college years, being what I thought I should be, following the pack, trying to please.  By my late 20’s I became a bit rebellious and found a strong sense of independence and prided myself on needing no one.  But somewhere along they way I found this balance.  This realization that “there is no ME with out YOU” and that does not make me a conformist nor does that does not mean I have to be fiercely independent.  It makes me a better person, a part of a broader community.  It brings me diversity I would never otherwise have.

I am not sure why this struck me half way across the world, with people and places that are so different from me.  But It made a it a bit easier to leave knowing that there is a piece of Helina, Danny, Abraham, Birtukan, Nesibu, Yoseph, Blen…  And when I make it to Africa again, I will have Josh and Abby and Hanna and Belinda, Stephanie, my neighbors, my parents, Beth…. they are all with me there, so Ethiopia doesn’t just get me… It gets everyone important to me.

So there is no ME with out YOU and maybe, there is no YOU with out a tiny bit of others as well.  Which makes me think of one of my favorite quotes I will close with tonight:

“If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other.”
Mother Teresa


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