Hope Dies Last in a World of Destitute

Blog submitted by Javier Chaney, 2015 U.S.-China Sister Cities Conference Volunteer and Student at the University of Hawaii at Monoa. Click here to view the original post on Medium.

The world is becoming a smaller and smaller place. Due to advancements in technology, we are not only as a country, but as a human race, closer than we have ever been to one another. Friends and family members can now converse face to face from opposite sides of the globe instantaneously. An artificial gateway has been developed for all to use. Most importantly, one can empathize with issues and problems others may endure from another country. Thanks to social media, one can petition, debate, and arrange gatherings for injustices. However, the world isn’t perfect; with the cooperation of one another, we can help push the world, and humanity, in a positive direction.

Countries like China, India, the United States, as well as the United Kingdom, etc., are outsourcing for business. Various countries have been exporting and importing goods for centuries. In the past decade, there has been an influx in travel, business, and (most importantly) children/youth study abroad opportunities. These opportunities do not only broaden the minds of the future, but also instill understanding and awareness of the world’s many cultures. Through this fundamental virtue of empathy, the future, the world’s youth, can truly blossom and flourish into what it has always meant to be; a world of cooperation, fairness and companionship.

As a youth and future global citizen, I find it rather difficult to get involved. I feel overwhelmed with the chaos and negativity that’s being broadcasted by our television, radio, and internet programs. I find it difficult to feel optimistic and confident in the world. There is war, famine, and suffering all around us. However, necessary tools have been given to us; thanks to the internet, we have access to unlimited information. Getting involved in our communities, cities, states, and countries is only a click away. There are plenty of companies and foundations individuals can get involved with. If each person sacrifices just a little bit of their free time, we would gradually but surely start to move in the right direction.

Sister Cities International is an organization in which cooperation and togetherness is strived after on a day-to-day basis. This wonderful organization wishes to establish concrete bonds and partnerships with the world through exchange and understanding. Sister Cities International held its second U.S.-China Sister Cities Conference in Chicago, Illinois October 22–23, 2015 at the Hilton Chicago.

During this Conference, many meetings and debates took place. Mayors, Vice Mayors, Presidents, foundation members, and government officials (both from China and the U.S.) supported and participated in this event. A city welcome reception took place at the Field Museum in Chicago; attendees consisted of members, guests and staff. This reception was an opportunity to break the ice and mingle amongst one another before individuals took part in business.

President and CEO Mary D. Kane of Sister Cities international; Huang Kai Vice Chairman of the Standing Committee of Shengyang People’s Congress; and Mayor Rahm Emanuel of Chicago gave a warm welcome to the participants, members, and volunteers. They spoke about the importance of togetherness and the cooperation between cities and countries alike, stressing that one day in the future, everyone can work towards one common goal, the betterment of humanity.

The day’s seminars consisted of topics varying from building business in China and forming international partnerships with universities and colleges, to, how to incorporate yourself into your community’s economic development goals and much more. Topics like educational exchange programming and protocol of doing business between U.S and China caught the interest among volunteers and international students who participated in the event. They were given the opportunity to share their ideas, perspectives and needs to the speakers. Tough questions were given to the Confucius Institute, along with questions of teaching opportunities; facilitating cultural exchanges; and how to increase cultural exchanges. These were all asked and discussed by head representatives of the many businesses. In these particular discussions, students were given the opportunity to voice themselves.

Today’s world is full of suffering, pain, sorrow, and greed. However, one must pass through the darkest of night in order to reach a bright new day. To the world, I say there is hope and there are many opportunities, so get involved any and everywhere you can. To the youth, I say dream. Dream of a day where there is peace, and hold onto it. Never let anyone tell you you can’t and always maintain hope and faith. It is never too late to utilize the tools we were given. Use your voice and speak the truth; stand for unity and goodness. One day we will reach the mountain top.