(3) Reflection is revolutionary.

“The true focus of revolutionary change is never the oppressive situations which we seek to escape, but that piece of the oppressor which is planted deep within us.” – Audre Lorde

Having trained now at eight national conferences and eighteen student leader retreats, I’ve talked with hundreds of students and staff about the most powerful moments they’ve experienced in reflection. Every single time, someone volunteers a moment during reflection when they were humbled by the realization that their own attitudes and behavior contribute to the very social issue their alternative break was seeking to address.

How many of us are able to arrive at that sort of realization on our own?

What we’re attempting to create through reflection on alternative breaks is truly revolutionary. True dialogue, unlike debate or discussion, puts our opinions and experiences in conversation with one another, and collectively, we reach a greater understanding.