“Mending Wall” by Robert Frost, Accident, Mass. Ave, by Jill McDonough, Learning to Read by Frances E. W. Harper, and The Service of Faith and the Promotion of Justice in American Jesuit Higher Education by Kolvenbach are each related to my first experience with Beans and Bread.
In "Mending Wall" by Robert Frost there is a stone fence that separates the narrator from his neighbor. The narrator sees no reason for why the wall must stay standing, for they don’t have any animals or anything that requires separation, they only have trees. This separation of man can also be seen in the divide of the people who helped serve food at Beans and Bread and the people who came in to be served. There is a divide between the servers and those being served. I think going in to a first experience with those who are less fortunate than yourself can be troubling and nerve racking, because you have no idea what to expect. Once you experience something like this for the first time you realize that there is no reason to feel nervous or put up a wall between yourself and the people you are helping. They are people just like the rest of us and through them strong connections can be made.
"Accident, Mass. Ave." by Jill McDonough shows how we follow the norm of our society even if it isn't exactly what we are feeling and how much we can relate to complete strangers. These two women begin yelling at each other only because that is how everyone in Boston acts. Once they realize there was no damage done they understand how wrong they both were and in reality they were both scared. Without understanding we tend to follow whatever the norm is. We think we are so different from one another when really we are related in so many ways. Some people may think they are better than those who are less fortunate, but how does that make you better person? Who are we to assume we are better than any of the people who come in to Beans and Bread every week. We do not know anything about these people and what they faced in the past. The people who see themselves as too good for the rest of us may be the ones who are most closely related to those that they believe to be inferior.
In "Learning to Read" by Frances E. W. Harper, the main character is being told there is no point in learning to read. They tell her she is too old and shake their heads when she begins to learn. Everyone is against her, but she knows she can do it and doesn't stop until she can read the hymns and testament. The people who come in to Beans and Bread can be facing the same opposition as Chloe. They have everyone against them but they know that they can accomplish what they dedicate themselves to. It is about believing in themselves and not dwelling on what other people tell you.
"The Service of Faith and the Promotion of Justice in American Jesuit Higher Education" by Kolvenbach explains what the meaning of a Jesuit education means. Father Ignacio Elacuria said in his 1982 convocation "A Christian University must take into account the Gospel preference for the poor." A Jesuit education is about "men and women for others." This reading poses a very interesting question, "How can a booming economy, the most prosperous and global ever, still leave over half of humanity in poverty?" It is obvious now that the injustices in our world can no longer be blamed on the order of things, but instead on man himself. Helping the poor is the most important aspect of a Jesuit Education and through programs such as Beans and Bread we are able to learn through these people who have come across so many obstacles in their lifetime and we can improve our way of life through direct contact. We live in such a sheltered world we are barely exposed to what lies outside of our community. We must make the choice to reach out and see what else is happening in the world because if we stay in our bubble we will never learn and we wont be able to help the poor.
The poems and the reading of the Jesuit Education connect to each other in the way that we are dependent on each other for our future. What happens to the poor population of our nation and even the world depends on how we all interact with each other.