“Why do I care so much?” is a question I often get. “You went to Georgetown and Dartmouth.” “You have a beautiful family.” ”You can seemingly do whatever you want with ease.” ”You are always an optimist, looking and feeling good.” (I took some liberties here for effect, but this has happened.)
I care because none of what I am would be possible were it not for the challenges our forefathers and we have endured. I see extreme poverty as a catalyst for greatness if properly unleashed.
I was born into circumstances that would, by some measures, be equivalent to living in extreme poverty. I almost did not make it out alive, as my mother nearly hemorrhaged to death while giving birth to me. When I was a baby, she stood in the supermarket spoon-feeding me from baby food jars off the shelves because she could not afford to purchase the food herself.
I have personally been near death at least nine times: held at gun point several times, attacked by knife and machete-toting gangs, strangulation to the point of passing out during a national level martial arts competition, contracting malaria while situated in one of the most remote parts of Haiti, and so on.
I went to a high school in Dade County, Florida where everyone was brilliant, but only about half the class graduated on time and substantially less than half of those attended a four-year college.
For the past two years I have been meditating daily. Through my practice, I literally feel the pain of our brothers and sisters in Uganda, Sudan, Somalia, Afghanistan, Eritrea, Iraq, Philippines, Guinea Bissau, Guatemala, rural Mexico, Favelas of Brazil, Haiti, Chicago, and in our own backyards of East Flatbush and South Bronx.
I have been fortunate to be part of a very small percentage of the world’s 7 billion people who currently feels secure about where I will sleep tonight and what I will eat tomorrow. This reality comes with the responsibility to give back to our fellow brothers and sisters who may have just been born in the wrong zip code, country or family.
There is nothing more fulfilling than participating in the provision of hope and a more vibrant future for others and ourselves. We are ONE, and this is a mantra I live by, inescapable and powerful. This is not really about giving, but receiving.
Soleil Global is our opportunity to share the power of LIGHT and ENERGY for the empowerment of others. Join me, our board, our executive team, volunteers, and contributors on this necessary journey. Help us as we work together to Light Up the World.