What Do You Want Most?

In two days I devoured Adam Braun’s inspirational book, The Promise of a Pencil, and then stole an idea from him. I used it on our little friends at the soup kitchen. I don’t think he’ll mind.

The book is Adam’s story of finding his passion for helping people, which leads him to quit his high-paying corporate finance job and start a “for-purpose” business called Pencils of Promise which has now built over 200 schools across the world. When he started traveling in other countries he decided instead of trinkets, his souvenir would be to ask one child in each country what they want most in the world. One little boy, dirty and impoverished and without anything to his name responded, “A pencil!”

When Adam handed him a pencil, the boy’s eyes lit up like the world was his oyster, anything was possible, and Adam had perhaps handed this boy hope of getting an education. This is how Adam chose to put all his energy into building (and locally training and staffing) schools, as education can unlock so much for a child’s future.

I loved the book. I also was curious to see how the kids at our local soup kitchen would respond to that same question that Adam asked. “What do you want most, if you could have anything in the world?”

By far the most common answer was this:

If you could have anything in the world?

Hogar. Casa. Home.

If you could have anything in the world?

Another common response was a camioneta. A truck.

If you could have anything in the world?

If you could have anything in the world?

If you could have anything in the world?

What Karina wanted more than anything was to see her mom, who moved to Buenos Aires seeking work to support the family, a story we hear time and time again.

If you could have anything in the world?

And Antonia simply wanted her family to be happy.

If you could have anything in the world?

What about you? If you could have anything at all in the whole world, what would you choose?

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