(please let’s ignore my privilege for this post)
If someone were to ask me, I’d make my disinterest in working with underprivileged children more than obvious. Yet for some reason I have found myself in this little hell-hole again where I curse my way to the organisation everyday – well not curse, that’s a bit too strong, let’s just say I don’t feel as enthusiastic – but once I’m there I find myself filled with all this zest to really transform the world around me one sentence at a time.
I know it sounds made up and cliche and something you’d read in a self-righteous self-help book BUT IT’S TRUE I CANNOT HELP.
Anyway. So the other day while speaking to this 9 year old, I asked her what her ‘dream’ was or what she aspired to be.
She said a “painter and an engineer,”.
Not, “I want to be an Engineer who can paint,”
Or, “I want to be an Engineer and also paint,”
Just “a Painter” and “an Engineer”.
I was quite taken aback. I came home, shared it with everyone, watched them marvel just like me and then forget about.
But for some reason I haven’t forgotten about it. The sentence just keeps coming back to me. The innocence and fearlessness behind it, the idea that she feels confident enough to actually say that out loud to a complete stranger whereas I still think twice when someone asks me what I’d like to grow up and be. If I said something like that, I’d be ridiculed. Obviously. Maybe someone would even sit down and explain to me the practicality of it, or lack thereof.
That freedom in that little girl’s eyes when she spoke was priceless. Having always believed (and actually implemented it) in dreaming extravagantly despite the apparent self-loathing and occasional low self-esteem, I have to admit, I’m a little envious of what she has.