While each of our lives will look vastly different on the outside due to a varied mix of choices, random circumstance, or what some refer to as destiny, our circumstances at birth are not something we choose or control.
I did not choose to be born into the middle-class. I did not choose to have the ability to walk, see, talk, and hear. I did not choose my country of origin. I did not control any immediate circumstances of my birth or upbringing. While I may not have chosen those circumstances, each of those conditions unjustly afforded me advantages that literally had nothing to do with my own accomplishments or work ethic.
So, you ask, why did I choose to serve children in foster care at the Empowered Connection Conference? Well, because they did not choose their circumstances of their birth or upbringing either. They did not choose whether those circumstances altered some of their opportunities. They did not choose to be recipients of unwarranted hardship. They ultimately ended up in the system due to a series of collective choices and systematic or potentially random circumstances beyond their control that were etched into the webbing of their lives often long before they were even born.
BUT, within this realm of seemingly endless powerlessness to circumstance, we each have the inherent power to choose how we live our lives and who we become.
By volunteering for Foster Arizona’s Empowered Connection Conference, I hoped to offer these bright and deeply valued teens and young adults some more tools to not only navigate their existence on Earth but to thrive. What I saw at the conference was just that. Human beings beating the odds. People choosing not to be solely characterized by their tangled circumstances. People taking control of their lives and having a blast doing so. Legions of volunteers who cared about these kids. Kids who cared for each other.
Each of us have innate worth that cannot be stripped from us no matter how hard the world tries, but it is up to each one of us to continue to nurture our individual value and facilitate growth. However, if I can help shoulder some of that responsibility for children who were not born into ideal circumstances and were unjustly deprived, that is exactly what I want to spend my time doing.
As a community, we have the option to look away, or we can choose to thrive together. I chose to thrive together. Those children at EC2 chose to thrive together. Foster Arizona chooses to thrive together. Do you?
EC2 Committee Member
Foster Arizona Volunteer