The kids have taught me so much about myself. They have offered the necessary reminder of all of the lessons I learned about life from Cape Town. Life is not easy for 99 percent of the world. Yet, for some reason, I was born into the 1 percent where it is quite simple. For my life, as long as I don’t completely mess up – and maintain a positive attitude when addressing the unfortunate incidents in life, I will be ok.
Recently when I graduated from AU, everyone congratulated me. I couldn’t understand it. What had I done that warranted congratulations, except for exactly what was expected of me? I showed up to my classes, I did the work, and I graduated. None of that seemed hard. My entire life, barring crazy circumstances, that was what was going to happen. So when it did, I couldn’t understand why I was being congratulated. No one had ever congratulated me for waking up each morning…they expected it.
Now, I teach 4th graders who will never go to college. If they make it through the 12 years of regular school, its something worth a true congratulations. Actually, those of them who get a 32 out of 32 on their exam today have earned true congratulations. My graduating college is absolutely no task compared to the daily lives of these 10 year olds. Why is that? God damn life isn’t fair. I’m on the favorable side of life being unfair, and I still hate it. I struggle each and every day with why I was born where I was, and why little Maricielo has to fight for her juice at recess. Why was I given the worlds most supportive and loving parents, when Johan had a father that beat him until he was blind?
I used to say I didn’t believe in luck…I believed in working hard and embracing opportunity. I am not lucky, I am fortunate. However, Peru has taught me that chance can have a huge effect on ones life. In fact, chance is everything. I don’t even know what to think about that.
I guess that’s why so many people believe in a higher power…because the idea that life is entirely left up to chance just doesn’t seem right.
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