Every once in a while I meet an incredible human, and they remind me that aging is a natural process that only claims our physical body. The spirit is always effervescent if we allow it to be, the soul is only more experienced and our mind can only grow richer if we feed it in the right way. This lady I met this morning, early at sunrise was giggling while doing her morning exercise and very proudly telling my friends and I that she is 85 years old and still feels young and full of energy. She was infectious in her enthusiasm and bright spirit, light as a feather and innocent as a small child. She renewed my hope in life and its beauty and easily added herself to my list of unforgettable people.
Until I went to Africa and saw the children face to face, the issues resided in my head as statistics, facts and numbers…
This child is no longer a number. This little girl has a unique story, she has a name, she has parents, a favorite game she liked to play back in her home in Rwanda and maybe a favorite color. I met her in Goma, Democratic Republic of Congo, where she was taking refuge in a medical center with her mother after crossing the border and receiving milk and medication with groups of other refugees, mostly women and children. She is one of millions affected by the conflict in the area and her future is unknown, unsafe and uncertain.
Another powerless victim in a war waged for no other purpose than the attainment of power.
Today I was having lunch in a Shanghai neighborhood where many expatriates reside. I was stunned to see at what a young age children are starting to smoke cigarettes these days, or was it always like this? These skaters looked so young, and so “cool” with the whole attitude of “look at me I am totally grown up now”.. and yet I felt that a lollypop would me much more fitting at their tender young age.