Monday, July 26, 2010

A life full of dreams, dreams full of life...

Some people like to tell fiction stories, a product inspired by their nighttime dreams. Some people like to sit along the sidelines of history and narrate the facts, sprinkling their research data with a hint of their own take on things. I know that the latter certainly had a big impact in my life, given that, sadly, the educators that genuinely worry about their students' education nowadays seems to have somewhat plummeted; I found myself compensating for their lack of interest in my own education through books and curiosity. I have personally never enjoyed fiction as much as I have enjoyed learning about the facts. However, the trips, the experiences, and the years--and not that I have been on this Earth for too long--have helped me to come to the conclusion that the best stories are the ones told by those we call "regular people."

I grew up hearing about wonderful men and women who fought day and night to make the world a better place (as corny as it may sound to some people). Of course, one always dreams of becoming one of those someday; someone people will continue to tell stories about for some time. As we grow up, though, life and time have an art to shift things around--sort of like a macro life-altering feng shui. Slowly, our dreams of becoming the president of the U.S. or an astronaut become childish aspirations hampered by real life; the dreams of making the world a better place don't seem as tangible or as colorful. Suddenly, we have to quantify everything: if I go to this university, it will get me X kind of job that will allow me to make Y amount of money to sustain Z amount of kids. Then we look back and we're no longer the 10-year-old that dreamed of becoming an astronaut. But somehow we always think that 10-year-old was the better version of ourselves. At 10 one knows no boundaries, no governments, no politics, no races, no religions. At 20, we're already too caught up in the mess and mayhem of the world and the heroes we used to admire seem like people we're never going to be able to resemble.

The stories I hear from the people around me in Raíces de Esperanza tell me otherwise. During these past couple of weeks, after getting to know the Roots more deeply, I have come to the conclusion that we humans are fond of pursuing that which is already at our fingertips. The heroes that we read about in books (or those whose tweets we religiously read every time our smartphones vibrate) were not born with a label on their forehead or an outstanding biography. They were ordinary people who happened to be amazing leaders.

The Roots come from all different backgrounds, some were born in Cuba, some weren't, and some aren't even Cubans. But every single one of us has a story. Some of our stories are real tearjerkers. Most of them came to a happier resolution. All of them have a commonality: Cuba is one of the main characters. The other main character? The youth. I rest assured that Cuba’s future is bright, for it rests in loving hands of big dreamers fueled by an incredibly strong and passionate spirit. I am thrilled to be a part of this organization filled with extraordinary heroes I like to call brothers and sisters. Roots, keep on dreaming with childish enthusiasm—a virtue of true leaders.

“Keep true to the dreams of thy youth.”
- Friedrich von Schiller

~ Karla "La Boricua"