People who know me may say I am a dreamer and I define myself as that. Therefore all the initiatives that advocate for a better world are supported by me. Three years ago on a cold spring afternoon I joined some of my friends in New York for a Free Hugs Experience. We stood with a Free Hugs sign and offered hugs to everyone and gave hugs to all who accepted them. It was really great to do things that not everyone is willing to do. Some people said, “What…Free hugs?” and asked “Are you going to hug strange people on the street?” while others called me “Crazy”. I answer sometimes with a great quote from Albert Einstein, “Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results”. I really believe in the revolution of small actions. I also stand by those who empower others to do “insane” things.
This past month at my host organization, the Latin American Youth Center, two great women, Claudia Diaz and Andrea Jaramillo empowered 20 youth to promote peace. Youth deliberated and together they agreed that their community needed peace. The campaign Spread the Peace was created. Youth decided on the location, activities, and signs. The location was the closest Metro Station: Columbia Heights (Green Line). The activities were surveys, signs that promoted peace, chants and music, spreading the peace with positive messages, and community engagement. These activities made people reflect about what peace means to them and it promoted peace by giving different hope, love and peace messages.
I was so excited about this activity. I was in the group who gave positives messages. Some people got afraid, they thought I wanted to sell them something, some of them only received the paper and did not care too much but some others really got involved in the activity and said thank you and congratulated us for the activity. The ones that did not get my little paper with a message I hope they listened to the youth who were speaking up. The second group, I am sure, they seemed indifferent but they got a positive message and at least we got a smile from them and the third group of the people who really got excited about the project and appreciated it, are the kind of people who are just like me, I am sure they also love the small actions in life and I just feel so happy for that, for all the three kind of people that I found, they got a positive message, the heard a kind work and they smiled.
Now, when I think about the fellowship, and the other fellows, I know some of them have been called crazy too. Because I would say almost all of us, if not all, think we can change the world through small actions. Which make me confirm what John Lennon said on his song Imagine: “You may say I am a dreamer, but I am not the only one”.