#FridayReflections – Making the right choice
What is a choice? Options or the lack of it? Why do you choose one thing over the other? Do we think about making a choice or we just go ahead with what’s convenient?
Choices make who we are. Be it the right to choose a partner, the right reason to remain fit, the choice to work or stay at home, the choice to have a child, the choice to marry, the choice to write or the choice to study.
Today, I want to tell you a story.
A real story of a seventeen year old girl, Esther Nyakong from South Sudan. Esther lost her father to war when she wasn’t even born. She and her two older sisters were brought up by her mother and their life was as hard as you can imagine. The ongoing war and the rifts made people flee to neighboring countries in the hope to remain alive and survive. Esther’s mother also took shelter in a camp when Esther was just a ten-year old. She and her sisters enrolled in a school at the camp.
Esther’s mother took up drinking and that made Esther think of her life and that she wanted her mother to be proud of her. She started studying seriously and her grades improved. Her determination made her work hard and she gained entry into a boarding school which had modern facilities, library, and an opportunity to do better in life with quality education. Coming from a culture where girls are married off early, they stay at home and raise children, Esther dreams of a career. She want to let go of the refugee tag and become the first female neurosurgeon in South Sudan. What she has with her is her determination, belief in self and hope.
Her choice to stay away from her family, devote time to studies, read to enhance her knowledge of current affairs and a will to succeed is all a hope for a future where she sees herself. She wants to prove to herself that she can make her people proud. She is ready to kick a football and bad times away from her life. She wants to make a mark in the world.
In her own words, “I would love to return as a successful citizen, ready to make a change. I want to be the girl that made it from the camp to campus and from a refugee to a neurosurgeon.”
There are many other young boys and girls from that part of the world. Those who don’t play games on ipad, go on with friends to educational tours, watch animation movies over weekends, or have a pizza party with parents. Their life is fueled by determination and hope. The choices that they make on a day-to-day basis reflects their hopes, where they want to be and who they want to become.
“May your choices reflect your hopes. Not your fears” – Nelson Mandela
What do you say? Do you too have a story to share?
Esther’s story has been written by Catherine Wachiaya and you can read it here.
This post is inspired by Esther’s life and I am writing for #FridayReflections.