When I was young, maybe 10, I remember driving through Seattle with my parents on a chilly winter day. As a child you would assume I would remember the enormously tall buildings, Kingdome or the cloud piercing Space Needle. Instead, what I remember most was a family of three, including a child, huddling around a building’s exhaust vent trying to stay warm.
In the beginning of our great country’s history, we started with “equality.” This idea of creating a government that balanced power between the separate branches and the People. Although in our day we struggled to give civil equality to all of our citizens, over time we have realized the advantage of including a greater spectrum of race, gender and sexual orientation. In the same instant we have seen a much greater disadvantage for the our people that are born into poverty.
I wonder if that child — with his dirty coat, the pain in his eyes, the hunger screaming from his body — if he feels he had an equal chance to achieve his dreams. Some people say “You just have to work hard” or “people are just looking for handouts.” Would they say those same popular “catch phrases” to that boy who is burned into the fibers of my memory? We all have dreams of aspiring to be something great as a child, and sometimes our dreams are just that and for a few they come true. I wonder if that boy ever had a real and equal chance for his dreams to come true.