Thursday, January 10, 2008

A Crisis Overcome

I thought I'd commented on last day's blog (Madonna In the Slums) but it didn't take.

I wanted to thank you guys for commenting. Our discourse helped me understand where my conflicted feelings were coming from. When I hear about the atrocities in Darfur and the AIDS epidemic in Africa, there this overwhelming dread and sickness that feels like its going to bury me alive. In my present circumstances, I can't run off to these countries to help, nor do I trust that the monies donated to international aid organizations are going to the people who need it the most. So when I hear about Madonna jetting off with nannies and children in tow to stay at an exclusive resort and then walk the streets surrounded by personal security while the people shower her in rose and marigold petals …

Oh wait, there I go again! Quick aside: I'm man enough to admit that I'm a judgmental wench. But I'm one with a heart.

Anyway, after reading your comments and facing the source of my frustration, I decided not only to get back to work but to do something locally. I contacted the high schools in my area and in nearby Santa Ana to inquire if I could go in and talk to their students about following their dreams. I'm not giving nourishment to an AIDS baby – although I did that to many such babies at when I volunteered in the Neo Natal ICU at Daniel Freeman and LA County hospitals – I want to give kids in my community some hope. When I look back on my junior and high school years, I remember the former students who would come in and talk to the class. They came from the same neighborhood that I did and hearing how they got into Harvard or were interning at the White House made me think that my dreams, at that time, weren't so impossible.

We are all connected, certainly. So if my simple story of moderate success can inspire someone close to home, then I hope the effect will ripple out into the rest of the world.



Tollula said...

Bravo Mary! Having speakers like you come to school, when I was in elementary school helped me see the world outside my community. Keep on inspiring the young.

J.K. Mahal said...

Inspiring kids to dream and to work for their dreams by showing it can be done is powerful stuff.

You go, girl!!

Alyson Noel said...

Role Models are the REAL Super Models!
Bravo Ms. Castillo!

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