This is Ben

This is Ben. He wants to become a Marine Biologist.

As a child, we are told to dream big. Our imagination is sparked. We believed that nothing was impossible for us. Whether that was building the best fort, riding a bike without the training wheels, giving out our first valentines card or even coloring inside the lines. We had tender hearts that soaked up love like sponges, even before we truly knew how to give it back. We were young and malleable, curiously taking in the world through eyes that bounced around like the tiny metal sphere in a Pinball machine. We were learning how to share, respect and welcome other children who were different than us.

Slowly, as we got older, the harsh reality of the world began to tell us we can’t do this or accomplish that. We are encouraged to exhaustively maintain a hardened exterior, since revealing that the love we are now capable of giving is associated with being naive. We have coined the phrase “emotionally unavailable”. We are now fearful of human interaction, God forbid someone remove even one brick. Somewhere along the line, we stopped respecting others. Whether it be their beliefs, bodies, experiences or intellect.

Ben, I hope your dream of being a marine biologist becomes a reality. In life, I hope you never doubt yourself. I hope you never stop chasing after what you want. I hope you are brave. I hope you always know how precious and valuable you are. I hope that you love unreservedly. I hope that you use your voice boldly. I hope you are constantly surrounded by people who are rooting for you every step of the way. I will root for you by voting for ISSUE 44 and play a part in giving you a strong start for a strong future. Let’s start to redo what’s been undone.

To find out more got to www.strongstartstrongfuture.com