Saturday, April 5, 2008
To Andre Rondon
This afternoon, I met a young man called Andre Rondon--a Brazilian-born American--in front of our neighborhood grocery shop here in Williamstown, MA. He was begging for money. I passed him by. On my way out of the shop, I noticed he had a placard on which was a map of Africa. Instinctively, I stopped to see what he was about. Well, Andre is part of the IICD network, and needs money to pay for his ticket and visa to Mozambique to work with an AIDS prevention initiative. What I saw in him, as he explained his motivation, is that zeal to change the world, which many have at a certain point in their youth, a passion that is usually unrealized, remaining only at the level of thought. What I saw in him also is the spirit only few have to operationalize that youthful passion, not by a flight of fancy, but by embarking on an act of faith, by deferring visions of self-comfort, to make a difference in the lives of the few. I do not know if Andre will get all the monies he needs to make the trip to Mozambique; nor do I know, if ever makes his journey, how many lives he will touch by his commitment. But, this afternoon, I saw in his eyes the future of humanity. Andre, it shall be well with you.