What Hope Looks Like

This morning I felt the Presence.

It was in what might seem to be an unlikely place … downtown in my city, every major street clogged with slow-moving vehicles. The only way to make any progress was to just accept each inch of forward momentum with gratitude.

One of the reasons for the congestion  was all the traffic converging on the MTS Convention Centre for WE Day.

As I passed busload after busload of young people (most attendees are Grades 7 – 12), my heart lifted. These wonderful youth will get to spend the day hearing people of their generation talk about how changing our world in real, practical ways is possible. They’ll experience the energy of being part of a community bigger than just their neighbourhood, or even city.

Participation in WE Day isn’t guaranteed to every student who wants to miss a day of classroom work. Many of the participants had to write essays stating why they wanted to attend and how they want to make a difference in some area of their community. Though tickets to the event are free, they are distributed through schools, and the schools which have a plan to translate the energy of WE Day into ongoing activities were given priority.

My son wrote his essay. His school has a WE Day committee, and part of his application process was to commit to being part of that committee’s activities for the rest of the year. Last year, one of their projects was raising funds and collecting supplies for an immigrant family with 9 children which had little more than the clothes on their backs. Though he is compassionate by nature, I saw that compassion both increase and mature. I am thrilled he was selected to participate again.

In other words, the purpose of the day is to inform our province’s youth about those in our world whose lives are far less luxurious than ours. This is combined with stories from individuals whose passion for social change propelled them to accomplish more than most of us even think is possible. These individuals are barely older than the 18,000 young people to whom they’ll be speaking.

I felt the Light in our city’s downtown area. So many youth and adults were bringing with them hope and energy for making a positive difference in our neighbourhoods, schools, city, and even beyond our country’s borders. Like a waft of fragrance from a perfumed passerby, the scent of  Hope, Compassion and Courage tell me the Ineffable is at work.

If you want catch the scent, check out the WE Day website and blog and read the biography of co-creator of the event, Greg Kielburger .


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