Why you are here

At every meeting, GlobeMed at CU – Boulder asks one student to stand up, address the chapter, and give a “why you are here” speech to open up that space for discernment, motivation, and purpose.

This week, their Director of Finances, Vivek C., stood up and delivered the following inspiring, mobilizing speech. Please read below for the transcript of what he said to his 40+ member chapter:


A homeless man crosses Manhattan’s 79th street. On the corner of Madison Avenue, the man stops before a mom pushing along her newborn in a stroller, and his eyes fix on the baby. Quickly, the mom removes her purse from her shoulder and rummages through its contents, and passes over a dollar to the staring man. And I wonder, is it fear or compassion that motivated the gift?

Up the avenue, there is a small French bread shop. An old man, wearing a tattered, stained hood, wanders inside. The scent of stale cigarettes and urine fills the small, overheated room. The owner of the shop quickly emerges with steaming coffee in a Styrofoam cup and a paper bag with yesterday’s bread. And I wonder, what compels the owner to feed this man – is it care, or is it her desire to rid the shop of the man’s putrid stench?

–      Barbara Ascher, On Compassion

And yet in another part of the world, two boys – both blind – pace along a train in searing midday heat. Their ribs show through their skin, and all they wear are tattered loincloths –“munde”. Slowly, they hold their hands out and begin to sing, but unfortunately, they have no talent, and few pay heed.

Sadly, these are but three of countless human plights. And it’s not the frail figures or emaciated faces that haunt me most, but rather, the societies that have long forgotten the worth of these individuals, that have let them remain products of abject, debilitating poverty. In an era of unprecedented technology, medicine, and economic wealth, so many must beg to live.

GlobeMed is more than a horn that amplifies charitable voices. It’s the revolution of an emerging generation, one that resurfaces hints of lost humanity, calling forth the simple truth that others in this world need our help.

And the sad part is that it’s not thousands that need our help, but millions and millions and millions! And we all know this too big an obstacle to overcome.

But don’t think about hanging up your towels and ceasing to act! It’s that very complacency that brought the world to its knees in the first place. Though we will not attain global equity in our lifetimes, or in that of many generations to come, we can make things better. Mother Theresa once said, “If you can’t feed a hundred people, feed just one”.

GlobeMed may be frail in number, but not in purpose; we may be young in age, but we’re more spirited than anyone else I know! The difference we make to those in Nepal is more than charity; it is a purposeful dent that inevitably calls others to rise and act. It’s the monument of students who embraced a simple truth that so many around the world have forgotten: we are all the same flesh and bones, and we need each other’s help.


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