Friday, June 7, 2013

Fraudulent Freedom

HOJ boys playing freely in Dahilayan
A joy to watch children being children!
'Why do they run?'
I can't recount how many times I have been asked this question or of the frequency it reoccurs in my own head as we contend with this complex process of trying to understand these children.

BUT I actually think the answer is quite simple....extending beyond the enticement of the street and its deceptive lure of 'freedom' .....Truly there is nothing 'free' about life on the streets.
 It is a prison of poverty, addiction, and danger and yet has a powerful magnetic pull like a bait persuading their distorted perception that it offers something 'more'......a fake mirage.

The escape effort is a run from themselves.....Others choose food, or alcohol, work, TV, holidays, computer games, drugs, facebook, loosen the stress, relieve the pain and distract from the real issues. We each select an alternative release as a flight elope - Our momentary affairs from reality that temporarily offer us some relief and divert from having to take responsibility.

To select 'fight' instead of 'flight' requires courage to face the truth of failures and weaknesses. We have to break the crooked illusion that running away is a deliverance. Until we all confront our tendency to seek artificial freedom we remain in jails of our own construction; disconnected from truth and separated from the opportunity of discovering who we really are. 

To choose REAL freedom requires sacrifice, a price too high for many to unlock what really lies beneath the surface. The preference for comfort and familiarity is more tempting than the battle to overcome ourselves. 

The street draws all of us......but the choice is wrestle or to run?......and our selection determines everything.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Milestone Markers

I vividly recall the day our own twins began school - the pride, the nervousness, fighting back the tears that my little ones had really reached another milestone.....

AND NOW.....the cycle repeats but this time for 9 precious other boys starting a whole new chapter of their lives as they join thousands of children across the country returning to school.

It is incredible to me that 6 months ago this opportunity wasn't even a hope for many of our boys as they spent their endless days trapped behind jail walls, punished so desperately for the crime of a lack of family to care. A cruel sentence for existence - one that stole their hope and choked their dream for anything beyond another day.

 Some of our boys have never been to school at all. Most could not recognize the letters in their own names let alone read or write when they arrived, BUT in such a short time they have learned and absorbed so hungrily - longing to shake off the shadows to prove to the world and themselves that they are more than what was believed.

 Truly tomorrow is a significant day for all of us - It marks the tenacity of our staff who have so generously poured out their hearts, time, effort (and tears) into these young lives in just a few months AND it cements actual tangible, breathable, measurable evidence to these kids that they indeed have a right to hope, aim, achieve and dream....that they have a destiny and purpose.....that extends beyond school, college, discover who they really are.....

So with bags, pencils, lunch boxes and water bottles ready we all begin another stage of growth and change....ready, expectant, excited, nervous....

Big journeys start with small steps....each one forward moves us closer......