Against the Odds


The credits started rolling one minute ago, I am weeping, and had to sit at my computer with thoughts crashing like waves in my head. The movie- McFarland USA. Poignant. Beautiful. True.  Every child in the world should see it. The whole time I am trying to figure out how to translate it to Creole for the kids in Haiti.

I won’t even tell you the story line because I know you will sit down as a family and watch it but here is why the tears will not stop flowing….


People do it everyday- those who did not have lunches packed each day with a chilled, bottled water, little bag of Doritos, a fresh apple, and sandwiches with the crust cut off and made into little triangles. Those who never thought they would see graduation from high school because work was a necessity to survive. Those who have never seen a doctor or a dentist but can run a 6 minute mile with ease. Those who work before the sun comes up, go to school, and work until it is dark. They are real people and walk the same soil we do. They are American. They are African. They are Mexican. They are Haitian. And they know what it means to beat the odds. Many of them will do what their parents did and will do it with excellence- farming, taxi driving, raising children, driving a school bus. That is noble and honorable.

But what about the kids who have a Jim White (the coach in the movie) who tells them they can achieve something extraordinary, like go to college on a scholarship? Join the service? Become a teacher and return to the high school they attended and mentor the next generation?  What  about the parents who sacrifice their children’s help to let them go to college and pursue what no one in the family has ever accomplished?

They are the heroes. 

The ones who had no one at home to help them with their homework because everyone in the family is illiterate. The ones who don’t have a piece of paper and a pencil to write with so they study their math problems by writing with their fingers in the sand. The ones who do not have the right clothes, or shoes, or mode of transportation…..but they don’t feel entitled to anything- not the clothes, the shoes or the packed lunch. They are grateful for what they do have. No one is braver than they are .

I know many of these heroes and they are my celebrities…..not Prince whoever having a baby, not the Bachelor, not the Tampa Bay Lightning….

These are my heroes……