Many times in life it is easy to focus on the negative, on the problems that surround us, on “what is”. It is very easy, especially in a developing country such as Nicaragua to lose hope. When almost everyone around me has economic hardships, hungry children, poor access to employment and lack of access to basic services such as water (some neighborhoods in Managua were recently out for two days), it can be challenging. Add to that the heat, dust, traffic and trash of Managua, it can feel depressing.
Last month, I (Cassie) facilitated three workshops at Accion Medica Cristiana on Peacebuilding and Conflict Transformation. One of the activities that I asked participants to complete, was a piece of artwork imagining and dreaming of what could be in their communities. Instead of thinking, “what is,” they thought, “what can be.” They divided into groups and dreamt of their futures, of a Nicaragua that could be.
As you can see, their drawings were beautiful. They were filled with green trees, clean rivers and bright flowers. Each community had a park, a hospital, a church and a school for the children. The parents had employment, a way to provide for themselves and their families. There was no violence in the home or community. There was hope.
After the workshops, I decided to do this activity with the kids in our neighborhood. Their final result may not be as aesthetically appealing, but these kids have dreams for our neighborhood of Tierra Prometida. They would like to have our dirt road paved. They would like to have trash cans available for people to put their garbage. They want to have lots of flowers and trees. And not just trees, but trees that are filled with fresh fruits. One boy mentioned that he doesn’t want the gangs to be here anymore. Another girl mentioned that it would be nice if all of their parents could have jobs. They wanted a school to go to along with a community health clinic.
Let's all dream of this world as a better place. First, start in your family and in your immediate community. How would you like it to look in five or twenty years? Instead of focusing on “what is,” dream of, “what can be!” Be inspired and take steps so that these dreams can come true.