The Lives We Lead

Last night I had dinner with some friends about an hour North of San Francisco. Both the husband and wife have been throughout many parts of academia and both appear on a constant journey to educate themselves. I'm sure their opportunities are fairly endless, and maneuvering into a career that would inflate their bank accounts would not be too difficult. But they both remain committed to educating others and themselves, research and overall understanding.

They've also both spent some time in Nicaragua and both possess a true commitment to the people of the country. One story that they shared really hit home.

As they were scrolling through pictures of children sitting in decrepit "classrooms," I was amazed by the looks of hope and curiosity in the eyes of these kids. The realities of where they were remained years away from settling in. But even when those kids do mature into adults, it's unlikely that cynicism will truly set in. These people seem to work with what they have and complaining about their lots in life seems fruitless.

There was a moment when my friends were taking pictures of the students. A number of them eagerly approached having little idea what was happening. As my friend continued to shoot, he explained that it was a digital camera. When he turned the camera around to reveal the photo window, the children were befuddled. It turns out, not only had they never seen a camera, but they'd never seen of photo of themselves. They didn't seem to comprehend what they were looking at.

After hearing that story, I could only imagine being in that situation. As those kids looked on perplexed, what I would have been witnessing would have been crystal clear.