Sunday, February 5, 2017

Running for Refugees, 2017 - 6th Straight Year in New Haven

The greatest lessons I've learned in life have come from two Sues - my mother in Syracuse and my teaching mom in Kentucky. From both of them I've learned the power of unconditional love and support. That is huge. Let me repeat that again. From both of them I've learned the unconditional power of love and support.

They've had by back through thick and thin and I'm forever grateful to them both. Because of their love and support of me, I've been able to share love and support for my students and the young people I work with.

This morning, a team of twenty five from Fairfield University will be running in support of refugees at the 5K in New Haven, Connecticut. Each and every year I run this race, my heart gets bigger. It is this race and the Vicki Soto 5K in Stratford that reminds me that there is hope in humanity, that people really do believe in doing what is right, and that love is the greatest answer every time.

This year for the holidays, Sue in Kentucky asked if she could make a contribution to a charity Chitunga and I believe in. Although he is in Syracuse going to school now, it was a no-brainer to invest in IRIS and the 5K. The money goes to support relocated individuals who have been chosen to enter the United States with opportunities for a better life. These are families that go through a scrupulous 2 1/2 year vetting process and are the fortunate 1% of the 65 million displaced worldwide hoping for safety and security.

Exercise. Fresh Air. A great cause. Communities coming together. A celebration of diversity, compassion, humanity, and the richness of doing good for the world when so many prefer to do the opposite.

I am unlikely to ever be rich. It has never been my intent to seek fame or the fortunes that come with it. Rather, I simply want to be a good human being who lives his life with empathy, understanding, global knowledge, and a belief in my fellow men and women. This is one of those days each year - one before the very American hoopla of a ridiculously expensive football game - that reminds me of why I've chosen to live the life I have.

I appreciate the love and unconditional support I've had my entire life. I am fortunate, and as long as I have life I will choose to pay it forward.

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