I knew this one Rwandan woman when I was a peace corps volunteer there. This woman had lost six children – one to starvation, two to sickness, two to still births, and one in an accident; none of her children had lived past twelve years of age. This woman’s husband had been killed in tribal wars. This woman had been raped several times, undergone uncountable beatings, almost died from starvation and sickness herself, seen her mother murdered, and had been driven from her home village – all before she was twenty years old.
When I knew her, though, she lived in another village that was, for the time, somewhat safe from the strife tearing apart her country. She had gotten remarried and had a baby girl who she loved dearly. When she smiled, the pain in her eyes was almost heartbreaking – but she could still smile.
The world only breaks you if you let it. And if you allow the fact that you never became an artist, or an actress, or a banker, or some bullshit, to break you - if you allow the fact that you never fulfilled some silly little dream to break you - then you don’t deserve to have dreams.