As another holiday season rapidly approaches it’s important to step back from the hustle and bustle and shopping and planning long enough to reflect upon where we’ve come from and who we are today. I’m never able to do that without starting at the beginning … the boy I was and the love, sacrifice, and dreams that led me down the path to the man I am today.
Life could have been very different for me. The small village I was born in did not value education, in fact it was a luxury that was frowned upon as it took time away from work, usually on a farm, in order to prevent starvation of the village members.
So how did I end up not only excelling in school, but going on to university (almost unheard of in the village)? In my book, Great Mother Heart, I write on page 19 …
Although my mother had never been to school, she had a dream for me that, one day, her son would finally go to university. The day I was born she committed to herself that she would endure all hardships to change my way of living, and to ensure that the dream she had seen for me, came true. It was the only purpose that had kept her going, through hunger, pain and sickness. She envisioned a future for me filled with possibilities. She somehow knew that if her son was to succeed in life, it could be only done through providing him with an education. She wanted me to have that tool in order to carve a better life for myself.
It was thanks to my mother that by a very early age I had a strong foundation of faith and a fierce desire to educate myself. Now as I look back on my life’s journey I’m humbled by how strong and determined my mother was, and so very thankful of the opportunity I was given.
I know not everyone was lucky enough to have the parental support I had. To those who suffered through neglect, abuse, or indifference … I sincerely hope you’ve found a way to break the cycle and become that beacon of support for your children that you should have had. Take a few moments this holiday season to give thanks for the good things, acknowledge the bad things, and let them go.