I walk my daughter to school daily and we pass by the same people at the same time everyday. We encounter a grandma and her grandson and we greet them in Spanish with my kinda Dominican accent, we say hi to the cute girl who I assume is a Pentecostal child or Jehovah’s Witness because she’s always in a dress or a skirt and of course our favorite crossing guard. It’s awesome to say hello and greet these familiar faces because it reminds me of the beauty of our small and diverse community. I drop my kid off and I have an adventure of my own. I encounter the older sister of the Pentecostal young lady, a little black girl who is always checking out my flowers and I greet her with a hearty “Hey pretty girl.” and she laughs. I make it down that block and the other crossing guard who always crosses me even if no cars are coming. He says loudly to me and to anyone standing or in their cars “THIS IS MY QUEEN! My queeeeeeen.” I indulge him and I smile and I make sure I greet him genuinely because don’t nobody just greet you as Queen daily. I think of myself as such and well, I’m here for the compliment. Anyway I pass all these people but I look forward to seeing this kid with the freaking Rubik’s cube!!!
He’s the kid you’d imagine when you think of someone playing with a Rubik’s cube. He wears glasses, hair down to his glasses, baggy clothes, baby chub in his cheeks, average build, vans and a super shy disposition. The first day I saw him with his cube I was like doppppppppppppppe!!!!!! He looked at me like I was crazy. In my mind I was like good, be apprehensive because I’m a stranger and you should be cautious of me being so exited to see your Rubik’s cube. As the weeks and months passed by though, we realized we were gonna see each other daily. He started seeing me as someone who he met along his journey and he made sure to say hey, but I ain’t see the cube. Yesterday, after a long time of not seeing it, I finally was like dude….where is the cube?!!?? He happily pulled it out of his pocket!!!! I lost it. I was like yasssssssss!!!!!!!!!! I’m mad excited. My reaction made him crack up. Why am I such a nerd?
Today I saw him, not alone but with his mommy and his little brother. His mom was taking a photo of him and he smiled a broad smile. I watched his mom kiss and hug him and I was happy that my little friend with the Rubik’s cube had a mommy who was kind to him and he seems happy to be near her. I don’t know his life but I want him to succeed. The love I have for him is the love I have for children in general. I want this young boy who loves his Rubik’s cube to explore a life of robotics, a life of engineering, a life of limitless possibilities and find opportunities that make him wiser, deeper and fill him with a wealth of knowledge and wealth that lasts for generations. Kids like him are the kids that I love because these kids still enjoy being kids. But the reality is that I only know a glimpse of his life. I don’t really know what he has to contend with nor am I sure he’s not a kid who acts up in school. He isn’t. Lol. I have a good gauge on these things but I say this to say that the next half of this life of mine will be spent building my own wealth and making sure kids like him get the opportunity to build theirs.
I dream of being able to send kids like my Rubik’s kid to schools that will really blow their mind. I want to make sure his mommy has the means to give herself a life she’s imagined for herself and of course her kids. I saw her and I saw him and I saw the countless other people in my community who are working to make their ends meet and working to give their kids a life better than theirs. I want to be influential in transforming their lives for the better. My life, my commitment is to make a difference that impacts the world in a huge way. I want to narrow the wage gap. Like for real. In my community the wealth disparity is so stupidly large. There’s the people who are literally making $8 an hour and people who would rather pay a $150 ticket than to be bothered by putting a quarter in the meter. Like people who own stock in Starbucks and the people cleaning the toilet at Starbucks. Nah son. That can’t be life. I cannot ever be okay with that. I feel like everyone should have a fair shot at the prize that is power, knowledge and wealth. The opportunity needs to be there and I am going to make that possible. Watch me.
I am super passionate about making an impact on this world so that equity is felt practically and not just in theory. The community I live in is one that is diverse racially, economically and socially and I know there are people who will make a difference and who can make a difference. We cannot be so selfish and so hyper focused on making so much money that we neglect the to give back and make a way so that others may benefit as well. People on the far right HATE that there is welfare or people living off of the system, so then let’s create ways so that we can have meaningful experiences for people from every background to really move ahead and do something that will leave a huge dent on their lives. Nothing can happen if generational poverty is something that is tattooed on this country’s blueprint. There has to be a shift in how we think of opportunity and the way in which it is tangible for all parties and not just to those who already have a head start. Our lives must have meaning. My life will not be complete until I know that I paved a way for ALL children to earn a life that helps them destroy every single barrier and obstacle that they are bound to face. I’m an idealist. I get it. But I’m also practical as shit so watch me work and stay tuned for the next chapter.