Change is what you expect from the new year; like a magic spell, suddenly all things wrong will turn right and we don’t have to make any effort for these changes to take place. Even new year’s resolutions usually last for no more than four weeks and people go back to their usual selves. We could make real changes any time during the year, but we wait until midnight of the last day of the year to ask for changes and expect to have them.
If I cannot change anything, at least I want to add good new things to do. For example, trying to be thankful not only at the beginning of the day but throughout the day be intently aware of the many blessings. I want to remember that I am enjoying many things that I did not deserve, but I have.
Many people in the world have worked hard and have done good deeds, yet they are experiencing hard times, not because of their own actions, but because of the countries they live in, or family circumstances. This is to say, that many times others are being judged as lazy, careless or inept, without taking into consideration the causes for their ‘bad luck’.
Such ‘bad luck’ happens to anyone under given historical conditions. Such as an individual who has never been offered the opportunity of education, or who had the opportunity, but not the financial means to pay for transportation, supplies, clothes or even the food needed in order to attend school. Or consider places where the teachers are not qualified, are badly paid and schools are very far away. Many places schools do not have a regular schedule and even if they do, life interrupts the educational process due to families needing the children to work, or care for younger siblings.
Later on in life the young person who could not finish even elementary school has to face a life of poverty and depravation. Therefore his initial steps have been undermined by a political system that robs younger generations of their possibilities to succeed.
And those who make it, like many of the undocumented students in USA, have seen how their parents have gone many times without basic things in order to offer them a better future.
Nevertheless, these students have many gaps in their education, and lack the social capital that well-established families can offer to their children.
In Latin America people refer to that social capital as ‘having connections‘. In a small town, and later in school, when you know the ‘right’ people, and mingle with them and learn their subculture, then you move ahead. United States is no different. Parents spend a lot of money to live in the ‘right’ neighborhood, and if possible, send their children to private school so they can start with good social capital. Therefore, most of the things we enjoy, and assume that we have earned the right to use, are mostly the results of historical and family circumstances that have worked in our favor.
A long time ago, I realized that I had no choice as to the family that I was born into or being surrounded by especial advantages. What I would like to keep remembering is, that the right to safe, healthy education, should not be for some to enjoy. Every child in the world, should have the right to a safe, secure, healthy start, that will give him/her the possibility to grow to their full potential.
Any one that has achieved education must remember that others should have the same or better opportunities, and act for this to take place.
Happy New Year. Let’s work for a better world for Everyone!
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