As a child, I was a daydreamer. I mastered the art of daydreaming. Many times I got slaps on my head, because I didn’t hear the adults calling me. But no sooner did that occur, I was back to building castles in the air. Growing up and many years later I confided in a lady-friend and asked why I was such a big dreamer and how I could get rid of it? She replied, “My dear child it is only when you have dreamt that dreams become goals and goals in turn become realities”. I am proud to say that I am today living my dream.
About 15 years ago, I came to Holland, a refugee, young, naïve, lonely carrying a bag of dreams. In the years that followed I did a lot of community work with the most weak in Dutch society: the elderly, the homeless, the handicapped, refugees and for which I received many recognitions. I have won medals and awards for doing so. I come from a country that is torn by war and disaster-both man-made and natural. Gaining respect, recognition and appreciation for your energy is always a phenomenal feeling. These awards enabled me to create publicity and awareness about the plight and the problems refugee children face in schools and in wider Dutch society. Such moments turn into a catalyst in creating positive, forward-looking, optimistic pictures in our mind and lives. Knowing that I can make a difference in this world is a great feeling, a great motivator that helps me decide what I want and decide what I am willing to exchange for it. As well as in establishing priorities and in earning success that is based on service to others, not at the expense of others.
I wanted to bridge gaps, bring alienating cultures to a common ground, keeping in mind the fact that the quality of a person's life is in direct proportion to their commitment to excellence regardless of their chosen endeavor and that one can do anything as long as one has enthusiasm, commitment, drive and passion for that endeavor. These awards have provided me with the unique experience and vital skill of leadership and that leadership is not a one-day thing. It is a constant commitment. A commitment to excellence. A habit. A daily practice. Leadership, i have learned through working with young migrants/refugees, is really about the ability to get extraordinary achievements from ordinary people. Its about creating a vision for and with them, articulating that vision, passionately owning the vision, and relentlessly driving it to completion. I believe It's never too late to be what you might have been. You will all agree with me that every single human being needs a sense of direction in life and a sense of belonging and sometimes we need a push in that direction. I am happy that I got that push and I am today even more happier to be able to give it to others.
Like mother Teresa said we are all called upon……….. to do small things….. with great love.
Take action! This post was submitted in response to Voices of Our Future Application: Your Journey and Vision.