“I have a dream closet. It’s full of the things that I dream about. I want to make things and I buy what I need and it’s all organized,” she told me. “But I shut the door on my dream closet. And, then I pushed a dresser in front of it.”
Why? What will happen if you push that dresser aside and open the door?
“I can’t do that. I might fail. And, I can’t take any more disappointments in my life.”
She talked and I listened. She said it in beautiful and strong imagery, but I’ve heard the same thing many times in the past year:
“I don’t try anymore because it won’t work.”
“I’ve forgotten how to dream.”
“I’m afraid to fail again.”

I spend much of my days recruiting volunteers to help people living in poverty reach their goals to become self-sufficient. Most often, the response is, “I don’t know how to get anyone out of poverty.”

Neither do I.

I do know this: budgets and resumes and job opportunities are important, but I’ve decided what is most important is being a friend. Looking into someone’s eyes, hearing his/her story and recognizing the strength. Then, it’s saying honestly: “I believe in you. I see your strength. I see your creativity. I see your VALUE.”

After that, one day you may get to help someone move a dresser and crack open a door.