Dreaming of the future can be a fun and daunting task that we often do. All of the hopes and aspirations bundled like a warm jacket keeping us cozy on a cold night. In the back of our minds fear creeps ever so slowly, then it finally makes its appearance. Sometimes it comes in the form of discouraging words or failed attempts by fellow peers with the same ambitions.
Recently, I was part of a Skype conversation with some friends, talking about dreams and discovered The Girl Effect. This movement was put together by the Nike Foundation and has had a profound impact on my paradigm of life.
I watched the stories of 5 young girls who realized what their dreams were and began making steps toward it, except for one. This left me unsettled.
These last two months of living in the Philippines I’ve seen young children playing and enjoying life on the streets every day. I can only imagine what they dream of accomplishing when they get older. But what if they aren’t able to achieve them because of life’s circumstances or the inability to further their education due to the lack of resources?
This question was the very thing that led me down a long spiraling path of reassessment. Reassessment of my life and how I choose to perceive it. I was given the tools and luxury of attending school, not only just public school, but a private High School. I learned what my strengths and weakness were and made plans to work on what needed to be fixed. I fixed some of those things and started dreaming of the bright future that I envisioned.
Thinking back of how blessed I was, the word selfish ran across my mind. SELFISH. Don’t know why it came across my mind, but it sat there and I began to unravel what that word meant to me.
(of a person, action, or motive) Lacking consideration for others; concerned chiefly with one’s own personal profit or pleasure. (Got this definition here).
From the definition above, I realized that I lived a life of selfishness for a long time. I never did anything without figuring out how it would benefit me and give me leverage to something I wanted. But when I got what I wanted, I never shared how I got it, thus learning I was selfish.
Now I’m not trying to put myself down because of my outlook on life when I was in high school, but rather discouraged that I wasn’t aware of what I was doing. I was setting myself up for failure thinking that everyone had the same opportunities as I had to get what they wanted in life.
I was completely wrong. As I sat through my first two years of college, I saw friends move schools and make other big life decisions and quickly learned that there was a system in place that can stop someone from achieving their dreams.
But millions of young people outside of the US don’t have the luxury of even making it to college to realize their dreams can’t come true. It just stops.
to be continued…