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You Can Achieve Great Things

sarakNothing worth having is easily acquired. By nature, we thrive the most and discover our abilities when we are pushed beyond what we thought were our limits. Someone once told me that you don’t grow as a person while sitting on the beach sipping a martini. Life’s experiences will inevitably show you that this is indeed the truth.

Your present circumstances and inhibitions aside, the person you are capable of becoming is necessarily different from who you are now.

So why push ourselves beyond our limits? Why set lofty goals and objectives? Why future leaders of the Congo?

Many of you have parents who made a lot of sacrifices for you to be in this country and provide you with opportunities that others like you may never have. Many of you believe you are indebted to your native country because someone told you that you are. Many of you feel the need to give back because Congolese blood runs through your veins. Many of you still have families in the Congo who are looking to you as their mobikisi (savior). And finally, many of you simply believe Congolese people are the best thing that ever happened since sliced bread.

Although these are all great motivations to want to make something of yourself, I am of the opinion that they are not sustainable. In just a few sentences, I will attempt to convince you that your greatest motivation (or at least one of them) to make something of yourself should be because you can.

Your present circumstances and inhibitions aside, the person you are capable of becoming is necessarily different from who you are now. Humanity has thrived the most when we have fought for what we believed to be justice. Our common history alone proves that we do not thrive when we are complacent. Although life presents its challenges, which at times can be painful, we are dynamic beings created for a lifetime of perpetual growth. My only case and point is the evidence in your life or the lives of at least 2 people you know who have made some progress in one area or another.

You can achieve great things simply because it is the heart of who you are and no one, including you, can do anything to change that. With a little guidance from those who have gone before you, you can lean into your abilities and cultivate a mind that thinks critically about the world and shape it for the better.

I plead that you channel your ability to do this in light of one of the most important parts of who you are, Congolese. As a people, we have had setbacks throughout history that I need not recount. However, we have the choice to let history have a positive effect on what we do today. We can prove to ourselves, and then the rest of the world, that Congolese people are a critical part of a story called human history. A story that will always be incomplete should we choose not to assume and create opportunities for ourselves.

My name is Naya Sara Kidibu. I was born in Kinshasa to parents who began with very few opportunities but had an extraordinary gift for hope and sacrifice. I am a graduate of The George Washington University with a Bachelor of Arts in International Relations and Minor in Economics.  I am pursuing a career in state building and strengthening the rule of law in developing countries, particularly French and Belgian colonies in East Africa. Yes, I want to build nations ;).

 

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