I’ve become like me today because of many people’s generosity. I’m always grateful for their help, love, and kindness for me. As far as I can remember, I might recognise most people who have pushed me higher and higher. But some of my childhood memory has partly faded. I can’t remember many generous helpers’ identity and face, and all that left are the great feelings that made me remember my past.
I remember how happy I was when some people brought new books to my school’s tiny library and read it for us. I was so passionate to listen to them and get permission to read it on my own. I remember how happy I was when some strangers (foreigners) came to my school, rewarded me with school materials for my excellent year’s result. I even remember how curious I was to peep at those strangers’ appearance which was totally different from us and how passionately we smile to them with joys. I remember how happy I was when I was feed with sugar and food that I’ve never seen and tasted before. I even felt so happy to know new interesting and exciting games that I’ve never known or played before. Everyday at primary school, I was always waiting for some strangers to come and make some interesting activities for us in school. I still remember partly of those great memories till nowadays, but I forgot who those kind strangers were or maybe I didn’t notice to remember that.
When I grow up, I see myself in young lovely little kids; those lovely, joyful, and playful kids. They are my mirror to see my past, and every time I see them, smiles automatically light up my face. I always wish I have a powerful magic stick to make them live in the best childhood moments that I used to live in and I would dream to have, and sometimes I felt sad when I could not help all of them. I’ve tried what I can do to contribute for some of their wellness and future.
From inside, there are gratefulness feeling that motivated me to contribute to social volunteering activities. I’m grateful for some strangers who stepped in my life path and helped me to continue this journey.
During the Merit360 journey, I experienced one of the best feeling I’ve ever had. I found a feeling of invisible connect and affection from people I’ve never encountered, I’ve never talked to, or I’ve never hugged before. Only just because we have the same wonderful purpose on humanity and the world’s wellness, we came and shared our feeling directly and honestly. It’s so beautiful, isn’t it? Among all of great personality and inspiration, I felt absolutely connect to a humanitarian and activist; Arlene Gormley. I’ve never known her before. But once she just said about her volunteering works and feeling about it, I smiled while inside me burst with joy and excitement. Because of what? She’s brought back my childhood memories. Her appearance and loves reminded me of people’s faces who faded from my memories.
She feeds kids in Cambodia’s countryside with her Feeding Dreams Cambodia, and I’ve never had her food. But, once I heard it, I feel full of loves and care. Inside me was full with “She fed me, she helped me to be here today, isn’t she the one of those people who I forgot?” thoughts. My eyes were full with tears inside, and I lost my words because this excitement. While she was on the stage, I didn’t see her, I saw the childhood memories and filled her face as those strangers into my kid happy moment. It flew in front of my eyes. When she said she would share the kid book to people, I just became a kids again, feeling excited while waiting in row for receiving the book for free! In word I still can not describe what I felt correctly. I wanted to cry out loud and ran to hug her, hug her like a kid again and say “thanks you” to her and to unknown stranger in the past that I always wish to meet again. But I managed to smile, smile to thank for her heart and present in front of me! The book is a gift, the gift that would bring me back to my past.
The best moment that empowered me was when I decided to challenged myself with something that I passionate about but I’ve never attempt to do on stage before; contemporary dancing. I’ve tried my best to perform, I missed steps and movements during the dance, but I still tried and put my energy and emotion with the dancing flow. When I’ve finished my dancing, I felt so excited with the applauses and smiles from the audiences. Someone ran from aside to come and hug me with the sweet and powerful words ever that I’ve always dream to have; “I’m proud of you!”. Arlene said it. It means millions applauses to me! I felt all the strangers who helped me in the past came to appreciate my small achievement with her appearances. From that time, I never suspect any strangers in my kid memory any more, but I see many angels came to bless me most of the time from my childhood until now.
Anyways, at last, I could manage to thank her for her appearance and support. And because of people like her, I become me today, full of motivation, commitment and chance to obtain higher knowledge and personality. The humanity affection empowers me to commit for my better self while giving benefits to surrounding society. Meeting inspiring people like her fuelled my eagerness to share what I have for better wellness of people around me. When I’m back to Cambodia, I absolutely will visit her work and have a free food at her organisation. I hope she can provide another plate of food, another warm hug, and welcoming heart to this little big kid.
Every time I do meditation, I pray all my peace and wellness would also go to them; my angel, and to all generous people around the world. I am happy to feel my angels during my childhood while maintain the relationship with all generous donors that I still remember and I will save those memories and and their identity in my heart hoping that one day I will have a chance to thank them one by one and meet them again one day in the future. There are nice people in this world who help me and many kids even they have never known or met us before, but their generous help do help us to dream and work hard for our future. With their help, it is a miracle for us.
This is one of stories during Merit360 that I experienced. We will achieve something beneficial for our society together, because our pure heart (each heart) with volunteering commitment and action has billions ties to other like-minded people. Merit360 is one of the great place to organise this great atmosphere.
Arlene is a founder of Feeding Dreams Cambodia and was a mentor for SDG4 during Merit360. She wrote the “2030 not a fairy tale” which is UN’s Global Goal adapted version for kids.