Dreams of the poor

Today we were driving through a very poor neighborhood. You could call it slums. And while driving there I was wondering what people in those neighborhoods are dreaming of, what people in those neighborhoods want to achieve in life. And I have thought about that more often lately, as e.g. I have been trying to help a fourteen year old boy from a poor family dream bigger. And I am not sure if I arrived, as in the end he cheated on me, so I didn’t trust him anymore. And I told him that. And then he didn’t come back. So maybe I have given him something, something for a better life, maybe not. Time will tell.

And no, I’m not so much upset about those things anymore. As it is his life, it is life, and I just tried to do my best and it is up to him what to do with it. And yes, I know a person like me, a grown up, a foreigner, might make quite some impression. And as I know what other people can do to children, like the influence parents have over how a child developed, I have been very careful what I told him, what I tried to teach him. And yes, I was a bit disappointed he didn’t come back. But that is maybe partly because of the culture. As I didn’t have any clue how to deal with the trust issue. But somehow I was hoping we could repair it, continue with finding some more success for him than his family has, than I had until now.

But yes, today I was confronted with the fact again that I have no clue what people in those poor neighborhoods dream about, what they consider success, what would inspire them for, well, do better?

And I still don’t speak the language here, which is kind of a handicap in a situation like that, if you want to know more about the lives of those people and trying to help them find a better life. As Philippine people may be happier than average, still, living and/or being born in a neighborhood like that I guess is not really an advantage.

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