Through my humanitarian work, I have the opportunity to meet incredibly strong, resilient and amazing people. I am fortunate to have them share their life stories with me and I love what I do with a passion. It also keeps my feet on the ground and expands my views on life and what community really means.
On the flip side, I admit that I struggle to maintain an aura of strength and hope when I am painted a picture of what human beings are capable of doing to one another and the horrors that exist around the world. I don’t know if I will ever get used to hearing stories of brutality that is unimaginable and the terror and trauma that goes along with it. My heart shatters whenever there are children involved. I have the utmost admiration for those who persevere through it all and try to create a new life for themselves and their families, despite the pain they have suffered through.
Reflecting on this today, I feel ever so grateful for everything in my life. Despite my own hardships, I am so fortunate to be where I am today. I live in a country with freedom and democracy, a clean and healthy environment, and is home to all different kinds of citizens, regardless of background, culture, religion or sexuality. I have a house over my head with clean running water, a toilet, heat and electricity. I am able to stay hydrated and nourished. I have a bed to sleep in at night; clean clothes, shoes.
I can live my life without persistent fear of violence or persecution towards myself or my loved ones. I am comforted by the fact that the people I care about are happy, healthy and safe. I know where they are. I am not alone; I have loving family and friends who are there for me when I need them. I do not have restraints around where I go, who I see. When I am hurt or ill, I have doctors, medication, healthcare; immunizations to protect me from disease. When I am outside, I have the luxury of being able to look up at the sky, soak in the sunshine, and just be.