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By Abe Villarreal

It seems harder and harder to find people with a passion for doing something amazing. When I speak to college students, they tell me that they are taking classes because that’s what it says to do in their degree plans. They are working towards something; they just don’t know it yet.

Older people love to share stories about good things they once did, somewhere, during sometime with someone. They don’t always remember the details but what they share makes them smile. What they don’t know is what they are doing tomorrow.

What are you doing tomorrow? Ask yourself this question and the answer might be an attempt to catch up to what you were doing yesterday. Our busy schedules are filled with time, tasks, and testing moments of frustration. What they aren’t filled with are hopes and the desire to do big things.

We all have it in us – that feeling that we can change the world. Somewhere, under layers of meetings and deadlines, it’s there. You feel it once in a while, usually when you stop and take a breath. Quiet moments are filled with the sounds of future accomplishment.

I know because it happens to me all the time. While lying in bed in sleepless moments or sitting at the diner with a cup of coffee, I can’t help but to be filled with the energy that comes with knowing I can do something for someone, not next year, but soon.

My favorite Bible verse is 2 Thessalonians 3:13: As for you, brothers, do not grow weary in doing good. I have it tattooed on my right arm in the Hebrew language. Unfortunately, like most permanent things, they are often forgotten until someone asks you about them.

I was reminded of this verse during a trip with students to Juarez, Mexico, this past Saturday. We spent a morning talking with moms, dads, and children migrants who are now living in tents on a narrow street near the busy bridge that forms the port of entry. The tent-filled block is the newest barrio in the large city of Juarez, a community always full of energy and passion, and one that is now home to strangers trying to make it across a bridge millions of travelers easily cross each year.

For them, touching U.S. soil is something within reach but yet an almost unachievable reality. They wait for several months just to get a date to see a judge and once that happens the chance of getting approval for asylum is a shot in the dark.

I listen to kids voices as they ask for free candy and Hot Wheels, and I hear the optimism they have even during this time of testing and uncertainty. Then I look down at my right arm and I am reminded that the passion I have to change a life is something I can’t push off for tomorrow.

The new year will bring new opportunities. We will start with our big goals to get healthier, make more money, and maybe work to get that promotion we’ve been wishing for since last year. All nice things but none as fulfilling as living in each moment and doing something that can be life changing not just for yourself, but for those around you.

Take a moment to stop and think what you can do for someone else. You have it in you to do a lot, and you can do it today.

Abe Villarreal writes about life and culture in southern New Mexico. He can be reached at abevillarreal@hotmail.com.

 

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