Dear World

Dear World, wherever we come from and whoever we are, we all have a story to tell. By telling our story, we can make connections and reach people we never thought we could. This is what the people at the Dear World project want—for us to share our stories of hope, struggle, joy, and fear; to connect with others all over the globe.

On Tuesday, August 30, Rollins College had the opportunity to do just that. The Bieberbach-Reed Room in Cornell Campus Center was filled with music and conversation as our students and staff lined up to share their stories. These tales were written down on skin and captured in photographs taken by Katie Greenman, a skilled photographer who is deeply passionate about what she does. As each person stepped forward, Greenman asked for their story —and she listened. Some of us shed tears, some kept a strong face, and others laughed. No matter the story, Greenman praised the model for telling it, and then set up to take the shot.

The stories that were told were as varied as the people who were telling them. Some conveyed their journies through a simple “LOVE” written across a hand, while others dove into the details of the struggles and passions that shaped them into the students who now call Rollins home. Whatever the story, the ultimate goal remained the same: to vocalize it. All around the room, friends and strangers alike were sharing their stories, strengthening relationships and making new ones, just as the creators of Dear World hoped we would.

For many, the Dear World event here at Rollins put things into perspective. Everyone has a story, but many of these tales go untold, as Angel Whetstone ’17 recalled: “This event put things into reality, that we can ask people what they’ve been through and they can help us get stronger individually, telling us how they conquered their mountains.” Ashley Reed ’18 spoke to this as well; she “thought it was very eye-opening to hear different people’s stories… it goes to show that you really don’t know what people are going through or what they have experienced.”

I had the opportunity to not only attend the event, but to participate in it as well. There is a certain sense of pride, anxiety, and relief that comes out of sharing your story with the world, but the reward felt after—knowing that I could make an impact through sharing a piece of myself—made it worth it. It also helped to remind me that everyone has been through their own journey, and that no story is “too small” to be told.

Go out and tell it.

Sincerely,

Someone who has been changed by the Dear World project.

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