When You Change the Way You Look at Things…

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I saw people. I saw young, hardworking men. I saw wonderful children, including a toddler proudly wearing her pink dress. I saw proud mothers and mothers-to-be. I saw kindness and community and positivity. I saw hope. That is what I chose to see on my second visit to the garbage dump today.
I’m not saying that it wasn’t difficult to watch at times, or that statelessness and poverty are acceptable. I’m not saying that it didn’t cross my mind that my own toddlers could have been born to this life. I feel strongly about taking action and making changes. I am adamant that love will change the world, and that it begins here, now and with me. But my reaction today puzzled me. My students were sad, angry and plowing through, picking recyclables and food out of the garbage trucks that kept on coming. They were paired up with a Haitian community member, amazing teams of two, from worlds apart, striving to fill those seethrough bags.
Everyone is entitled to their reaction. It stems from their experiences and no judgment should ever be passed on someone’s feelings in a certain situation. I was trying so hard not to judge myself for my reaction. It was so different. I just saw something beautiful. I was not upset or sad or angry. If anything I felt compassion. Compassion for people who have very little, and choose to work together as a community. People who get up 5 or 6 days a week to work on empty stomachs, yet find it in them to be giving and loving and helpful and smiling. People.
The people I met today, they are an inspiration. They are the reason I do what I do. They are the ones who allow me to be the best person I can be. They inspire me to make changes, to make things happen and to continue striving for social justice.
“When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change…”
Gen – LiveDifferent Hero Holiday Teacher Volunteer, Dominican Republic, 2012

Author: LiveDifferent

Date: July 8th, 2012