Sometimes people tell me I can't change the world, so why try?
It's easy to be apathetic, people around the world are faced with many social and economic inequalities and it can get overwhelming and hard to decide what to do, or how to help.
This is my WHY behind the passion to create positive change in the impoverished areas of Panamá and give opportunities to youth in North America and Panamá to travel abroad.
When my mom was a little girl she lived in extreme poverty. This was in rural Manitoba in the 50's and early 60's. She was the 12th of 13 kids and they didn't have indoor plumbing, a bath was a luxury and so was a good education.
She has many stories, some so unbelievable people think she must be stretching the truth. A story she has mentioned to us a couple times is about one specific Christmas they were tired of not having presents. She and some of her other siblings sat in a circle on the kitchen floor and they took turns wrapping their pet in an old blanket. They would hand over the lumpy Christmas present to each other one at a time, acting surprised as they opened up the blanket and received their furry Christmas gift, the old barn cat!
They would walk for two miles on Halloween night to get an apple from the "rich" neighbor giving out treats. Did I mention this was in a remote area of Manitoba? Yes, October is still freezing cold and they didn't have boots or warm jackets. I asked her if she dressed up like a ghost, she said, "are you kidding me we would have been in BIG trouble if we cut up a costly sheet!"
Many memories are cherished by her and she says she would not trade the freedom she received for a childhood in today's world. My mom says childhood today looks to overscheduled, boring and creates over protective humans with no creativity or work ethic. That's true, but I can still see the sadness in her eyes.
I wish I could turn back time and give my mom excellent teachers that cared about her. Teachers that didn't smell like alcohol and showed up to teach school.
I wish I could turn back time and give my mom a Halloween costume, a jack o lantern, warm boots and a bag full of candy from 50 different houses.
I wish I could turn back time and spend time with her and tell her she was so very special. Even if her mom was too tired and didn't seem to care much about her, I would tell her that I did. I would tell her that she mattered. I would be waiting for her after school with warm food and a big hug.
There are a lot of things I would do for her. I would have created many
My mom's life inspires me to give others opportunities. She placed the passion in my heart to get creative and change the world.