The Power of Humility by Briana Bursten

Today we ventured to another house, where we poured and smoothed concrete on floors. The house belonged to a woman who had young grandchildren. Between shoveling concrete into buckets and carrying water from place to place, I was able to hang out with the homeowner’s young granddaughter. Although she was hesitant to talk to me at the beginning, I soon found out that she really enjoyed playing with my iPhone– an item that was as foreign to her as it was awe-inspiring. Thanks to her, my camera roll is now filled with numerous selfies, a product of her utter amusement. After spending quite some time with her and seeing how much she enjoyed playing with the rings I wear on my fingers, I decided to give her an accessory she could call her own– a necklace that I bought on our first day in the Dominican. Although the necklace was a bit large and thus hung low, she looked so happy and beautiful with it around her neck. I left knowing that I had impacted her in some way. If someone were to ask me what the power of giving was before embarking on this Dominican adventure, I would’ve stared at the interrogator blankly and had nothing to say. Upon reflection, I think this has to do with the fact that the power of giving is not something to be described, but rather to be experienced. The power of giving is not a concrete item, but can best be explained as an abstract concept. As our trip comes to a close, the power of giving, to me, is most closely related to humility; realizing one’s place in the world and detaching from the personal, egocentric mindset. I thank the Ryan Nece Foundation, every sponsor and everyone who helped us in the Dominican for making this experience life changing. The memories I take home will remain with me for the rest of my life.