That is going to be my new motto.

These months (for me) have been an accelerated course on life.

I helped a teenager pass his 7th grade, even when everyone else said: “You will fail!” I helped him study, gave him unsolicited advice, cried with him, and intervened when his tutor was ready to hang the gloves and give up. This wonderful kid is part of the hundreds, if not thousands of kids that belong to the state here in Puerto Rico. A kid that cannot get his driver’s license, (even the apprentice one) until he turns 18. A kid who’s dad died and mom neglects. Who has been raised in foster care for over six years with a complete stranger. A kid that stiffens when you hug him, and answered: “No.” when I asked him: “Do you know what love means?” I told him I loved him that day, and I meant it. This kid is thirteen years old.

I have also learned that the US alone puts to sleep (nice wording for euthanasia), at least 5 million animals each year. I became aware of this truth when I found two puppies in the middle of the night, trying to cross a highly transited road. I took them in without knowing what would I do with them, since I couldn’t keep them. I bathed them, removing their ticks and fleas (which was pretty nasty). I dewormed them, fed them, and gave them as much love as I could. I started looking for no-kill shelters in Puerto Rico, to find out that even if we have 78 municipalities that by LAW are required to have a shelter each one, there are only 5 or 6 in the whole island including Vieques. Oh, and those do NOT guarantee the animals will be killed the next day.What broke my heart about this matter is that those kind souls who did have no-kill shelters, or sanctuaries, are in the verge of filing for bankruptcy because they lack the funding. I found around 3 or 4 of those, and only one was willing to take the dogs immediately. All of them were overbooked. The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.–Ghandi

I guess Puerto Rican’s can’t get mad when people call us a “Third World” country. Stray cats and dogs are part of our daily bread.

I did find them a home after two weeks of intensive searching and pleading for help. I thank the kind souls that helped  these two babies change the lives of two families for the better. I also thank my husband for being such a rare specimen in this world, and having the courage to support my decisions with understanding.

Aside from children in need of love and care, and animals in need of love and compassion, I also learned that I can’t change the world if I don’t start by changing myself. Not only my actions, but my thinking.

I want to be the person that changes your day when you talk to her or meet her. I yearn to be the one infecting the world with just one smile. I pray to God everyday, to give me the strength to carry out my life in the best way possible.

I used to be a selfish, careless person. I did wake up from that trance a couple of years ago, and now, close to my 25th birthday, I truly know that a life without purpose, is a life not worth living at all.