“I am only one, but still I am one. I cannot do everything, but still I can do something; and because I cannot do everything, I will not refuse to do the something that I can do.” – Helen Keller
The LifeChoice Internship in Australia trains university-aged students in the apologetics, bioethics and practical skills they will need to help form and lead the emerging young pro-life movement in our country. Forming affiliated societies at universities around the country, they are a force for justice, mercy and compassion on campus, and a powerful beacon of hope for a future society where every human life, from conception to natural death, is seen as a gift worth treasuring.
At the 2017 internship, 24 young activists were guided through the stormy waters of bioethics and apologetics by a seasoned warrior in the field, Kiwi and Dad-joke-machine Brendan Malone. We received hands-on media training, practiced committee meeting protocols, made music, swing danced our way into a sprained ankle or two, and capped it all off with the outrageously successful LifeChoice Summer Ball.
Since their very first affiliation at Sydney University in 2012, LifeChoice have indeed made incredible progress. They are now active at five universities in Sydney and with seed groups beginning in other cities across the country. The movement is growing, as our generation becomes restless with a superficial, throwaway culture that offers human beings so little and of us even less. The authentic love that motivates an authentic pro-life movement, however, presents a great call in so much darkness: that our lives are precious gifts to each other that are worth fighting for. This is not a pastel-coloured, sweetly-smiling-holding-a-Precious-Feet-balloon-while-the-world-burns kind of love, but something fierce, counter-cultural and revolutionary. It demands real engagement, real dialogue wherever it is acting – whether that be at a university O-week stall, in front of a clinic, in conversation with a disapproving friend or in a Facebook comments section.
The words from Brendan’s final call-to-action to the interns, first written by the seemingly ‘disabled’ Helen Keller, whose own life could so easily have been seen as not worth living, are so appropriate for our times. We are each only one, but can do as much as so many other ‘ones’ that have come before us. Our great challenge is to embody authentic love for every human life in the places around us where it is most neglected, or thought impossible. And we must not refuse to do the something that we can do.
Katherine Turnbull is a graduate of Campion College, Sydney, and now a missionary sharing life and love with The Culture Project Australia.