Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Trabajando para comer

~ wrote this for another blog ~

I see a lot of things around me and sometimes I see things that just, well they just hit me hard for some reason. Take the picture above. It's of three kids talking to a security officer. Nothing special about that right ? Well those three kids are keeping an eye out for the real cops because their parents are street vendors. I see them all them time, specially here in L.A. and I have mixed reactions. One moment can be rage and frustration because their parents are making their kids put themselves in harms way, taking them with them to work and basically depriving them of a decent childhood. 

At the same time I relate to these kids because I have lived through that with my own parents. Their reasoning was that if i wasn't at school I had to go to work. What are you gonna do at the house ? Be lazy and and watch t.v. all day ? Go out with your friends from school and have a social life ? No hijo, aqui tienes que trabajar siquieres comer. (If you wanna eat around here, you better pull your weight.) Like those kids parents, my parents are more traditional and a hard days work is something that is highly valued because that kind of mentality was instilled in them by their parents. 

Part of me wants to tell these parents to let their kids have some sort of normalcy, if that's even possible, because their lives are screwed up enough as it is. But as I see the kids playing on the side walk or walking onto the road to see if police are on their way. I can only imagine what their home life must be because I know wasn't the best. My biggest concern is what is going to happen to these kids in the immediate future. Will they be engulfed by the system and become another statistic ? Will they continue in their parents foot steps and continue to live a life of hardship because they don't know any better ? Or will they make something of themselves and realize the potential within them ? 

It's uncertain what the future will bring, yet I have a compulsion/need to help kids like that. To show them that I was like them when i was there age and I made something of myself. I learned to break the cycle of ignorance and I was able to improve my families quality of life. I have no doubt that if given the chance, these kids would thrive and become great people who want to better themselves, their families and maybe even their communities. All it takes is one person to show they and guide them. To prove to them that life isn't all about work. Life is too short to spend it working to make ends meat. I have learned many a lesson from my parents. they have instilled in me traditions, moral values and work ethics that I have manipulated and used to benefit my goals and ambitions. All it took was motivation from someone or something to get me going. Since then I haven't looked back. I wait idly by as I will return the favor to someone else. To inspire greatness in them and help them realize their potential.