This week I’d like to discuss a conversation between Will and his mother in the chapter: “Suite Française”. Schwalbe summarizes the plot of the novel in which the writer, Némirovsky, gave her daughter a notebook containing two parts of a novel her mother had written just before she died. Will makes a “totally insignificant numerical coincidence” between the day the police knocked on Némirovsky’s door and his birthday. 20 years separated these two events. He explains how crazy it was to learn about World War II in school even though it had just happened. He goes on to discuss how horrible things happen all the time and how he feels guilty that he is not doing more in the world. He discusses this feeling with his mom who tells him that the way to truly help is simply to always do your best. She goes on to say that too many people use the excuse that they believe that their small actions will not make a huge difference to justify their lack of action. Mary Anne also advises that people should use their talents to help. For example, if you’re in public relations, you can offer public relations help to a charity.
This particular part in the chapter really hit me. I feel as though too often, we all find ourselves in the same situation as Will has found himself in. Maybe not to the degree of feeling as though we are not doing more to benefit the world, but I’m almost certain we have all at least once felt as though we are not moving forward in life. Earlier this week I noticed in our discussion in class regarding problems that we all face every day as students or young adults, we all are struggling with newfound responsibilities and tasks. I know firsthand how hard it can be to feel as though you are not moving forward as I’m sure all of you do as well. What I’ve learned is to remind yourself that everyone starts somewhere. Whether you’re starting a new sport, learning a new instrument, or even starting college, it takes time to adjust. You can’t expect to be amazing at everything when you first begin. It takes time to become a “great” or a “pro”. But with time and hard work, you will improve or move forward. As a music major, I believe that when I graduate I will use my talents to help educate my students on the beauty of music. I want my students to be able to understand the power of music and how it can make you feel. Even though it’s not exactly creating a charity or dying so that others can live; this is how I will make my difference and help.
My question to you is do you agree with Mary Anne when she says that the way to really help, is to do your best? How do you find a way to help? If you aren’t sure yet, how could use your talents to help make a difference?