The Great Performance

“All the world’s a stage,

And all the men and women merely players:

They have their exists and their entrances;

And one man in his time plays many parts,”

– William Shakespeare

What beautiful words this man wrote – so inspiring! I find encouragement in these words and want to share why.

I know that I sometimes feel paralyzed by fear – I’m afraid to act, because I don’t know what will happen if I succeed. I’m afraid to act, because I don’t want to fail. I’m afraid to act because I don’t want to make the wrong decision. I’m afraid to act, which means I’m too scared to step out and play the lead role in my own life.

But what kind of life is that, where the encroachment of fear steals the lead?

I think the reason why I find the words of Shakespeare so encouraging is because of the line that reads. “And one man in his time plays many parts…”

To me, this line is saturated with hope. A wrong choice or poor decision is not the end – it’s just another part to play, another opportunity to grow and to learn. If I act and I fail, it’s okay because there are many more parts to play. If I act and succeed, I can rest assured knowing that my success was because of one thing – I took action.

Fear, I won’t let you hinder me any longer. It’s time I step out and embrace the lead.

– Britney Johnna

Photo Credit: Unknown

Jams for Cans

Let me begin by saying that it is incredibly difficult to keep a blog whenever internet access is hard to come by! I don’t have the internet at my house, so I have to get a little creative about blog posts.

I wanted to take some time to write about an event that I’m planning called Jams for Cans. The event is a benefit concert set for November 15, 2012. To get into the concert, students and campus organizations will donate cans of food that they have been collecting. At the end of the night, we’ll donate all of the cans to a food pantry either in Edwardsville or St. Louis.

Just a little bit of background information about the concert:

Every year, my stepdad puts on an event called Got FAITH? (Feed And Inspire The Hungry). This event is a yard sale where you “buy” items for a can of food. Most of the churches in Jerseyville donate items or money to the yard sale. I’m amazed every year at how the churches come together for this single cause, regardless of their denomination. This is something I hope to see at SIUE – students being able to join together and help fight hunger regardless of their majors, backgrounds, or beliefs.

Over the three years of Got FAITH? we’ve collected almost 15,000 cans of food, which were all donated to local food pantries.

I was telling my friend about this and we decided to do something similar, but geared towards SIUE – which is where the idea of Jams for Cans came from.

So now that you know about the background of Jams for Cans, here’s a little about the passion behind the event:

Lately I’ve been becoming more aware of the issue of hunger in America. A lot of this was from my experience working in Virginia this summer – I volunteered at a food pantry quite a few times and saw the hundreds of people who were completely dependent on the food pantry to feed their families.

I know that in this area, many food pantries have been struggling to keep their shelves stocked. So now there are children who don’t receive proper nutrition, there are mothers who can’t feed their kids, fathers who can’t provide for their families… This is a real issue that families here in the St. Louis area are facing. I think it would be amazing to see students from SIUE to come together and support this cause – to help people who can’t help themselves.

One hope I have for this event is that it will help people (families in need of food, professors and students here at SIUE, the musicians who will be playing and anybody else who is involved) to see and understand that we’ve all been called to care and we should look after others in practical, tangible ways.

So if you read this, I would be blessed beyond belief if you would join me on November 15, with a can of food in your hands, ready to help fight against hunger.

Photo by: Britney Molloy

-britney johnna