Children of Ghana

Child of Ghana

I can still see their faces, vividly clear in my mind. The bright, glowing smiles. The youthful energy and excitement. Their yearning for a better future. The children I’ve interacted with in the various rural villages of Ghana all exude the same positiveness and ambition. They want to be educated in what they know to be “good schools.” It appears that throughout their entire lives, they’ve been told that the schools they attend are subpar. They’ve heard stories of other kids who went to “good schools” and how the higher quality education led to markedly improved life outcomes. Yet the abject poverty that surrounds them relegates these children to realities far from their dreams.

The mindset of the youth in Ghana starkly contrasts what I’ve observed from American youth living in the poorest communities. These children are afforded opportunities to receive free education, typically including free transportation and in some cases subsidized or free meals. They are essentially “privileged” in comparison to youth in developing nations. Surprisingly, in my conversations with American youth, I’ve observed a lack focus on a vision for the future. I guess this could be considered a basic dilemma of the “haves” and “have nots.” Will things ever change? Only time will tell.

Long Live Mandela!

“There is no passion to be found in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living.” – Nelson Mandela

Nelson Mandela
Nelson Mandela

These are a few thoughts I was inspired to write on the day Nelson Mandela died. 

December 5, 2013 – The universe lost one of it’s greatest citizens today. A man who dared to believe in something greater than himself; freedom and equality for all South Africans. Mandela serves as a beacon of hope for those of us that seek to make the world a better place. While not perfect, Mandela found a way to channel his energy toward dismantling the oppressive apartheid movement that held a tight grip on his homeland. He figured out how to fight evil with kindness, and turned his anger into a relentless drive to transform the nation. Many generations will reap the benefit of Mandela’s efforts, and his sacrifices bore the fruit of racial harmony. Although he did not act alone in promoting the anti-apartheid movement, Mandela has become the global symbol for the movement’s success. If we remember nothing else about this civil rights giant, we must never forget his lesson in what can be achieved by dreaming big and remaining steadfast in the pursuit to make our dreams a reality.