Monday, May 7, 2012

GCC student's humanity shines: from Fredericksburg to Cameroon, Jonathan Hollingworth puts others before himself

Jonathan Hollingsworth receives a 2012 Germanna Student Academic Award from English teacher Voytek Dolinski, who wrote: “He is one of the most mature and insightful writers I have had at Germanna. "Perhaps the best way to understand Jonathan is through his own words:"

"There is a great lack, I believe, in the way we see worth in others. Even our terminology is skewed. We use monetary metaphors like 'value,' and 'worth,' as though people are goods to be bought and sold. If we could look into someone else’s eyes and understand how important they are, more than our possessions, more than our pride, more than our pleasure, then perhaps we would not just value them, or find them to have worth, but we would love them."

Helping humanity trumps textbooks




Jonathan Hollingsworth was eating dinner in Fredericksburg, at one of Aladin Restaurant’s outdoor tables, when he spotted a homeless man asking for change.

“We can do him one better than that,” he told his friends before inviting the man to join them for a meal.

“He was quiet at the beginning. By the end of the night, he was making the whole table laugh,” said Hollingsworth, 20. “He told me, ‘I actually haven’t had a real conversation in three months.’ I couldn’t believe that. I probably don’t go three hours without talking to someone.”

The encounter last summer was life-changing for Hollingsworth, who lives in Spotsylvania County.

He recalled times when he’d avoided eye contact with the less fortunate, because of guilt or shame or discomfort, and he vowed never to do it again.

All human beings have worth, said Hollingsworth, and the very least we can do is acknowledge that with a look, a smile, a handshake or something even more meaningful.

To put his beliefs into practice, Hollingsworth will spend the next year in Cameroon in West Central Africa serving some of the country’s poorest residents


No comments: