Spreading Love Beyond Barriers

Life unfolds the way you believe it will. Just like the quote of William James which says, 'Believe that life is worth living and your belief will help create the fact', here is someone who existed only with belief and see, how life turns the way he wanted it to be. Read on!
IJ Kavyashree
Published on: 20th October 2015
The family was happy until his mother and his step-brother were killed by his own father. Every day became a tragic day of life when his father would come home drunk and beat him up. Living a meaningless life with no love, care and attention from anyone, he had decided many times to leave this world of cruelty but, there was some power that pulled him back. People around him abused him, which became the reason for him to start avoiding adults because of the fear. Even when someone spoke to him, his state of insecurity made him feel that, it was not the kind of love he wanted, but, he wanted to stay connected to someone he could rely on, someone who would create an environment for him to be himself. That was when he decided to spend time with children in schools and orphanages.
Beyond Barriers
At the age of 13, he would take sessions at schools and orphanages, speak to them, inspire them, connect to them and be with them. The reason he chose to be with the children was because they accepted him and also, there was no one else who bothered about his existence. He felt like a father although he was still 13. Unlike a lot of those children, he would go to school not to study, but only because of the mid day meals that was provided. He knew he had to survive with that food for the next 24 hours, since he would neither get food nor love at home, which was a basic necessity for any child in a family. There were times he would wait near the garbage, for the banana leaves with the left out food from other homes to be thrown out, fight with the dogs, grab the leaves so that, the food could help him only survive a little longer. Those were days with no hope, except his happiness when he taught the children. The school authorities were unsure of his activities and while they thought he was directed in a wrong path, they decided to get him out of the school at the earliest by double promoting him from grade 8 to grade 10. He had no other go than accepting it, since he had no strength that supported him. Life still hit him when his drunkard father beat a teacher at school, which ended in him being suspended from the school. A big time of his 10th grade, he wouldn’t go to school but, he spent more time with the children and the left out time in rag picking, and collecting the waste plastic bags which would help him earn a few pennies to help his survival.
Beyond Barriers
Finally, he somehow wrote his examinations in grade 10 with no belief of clearing the examinations. The exams ended, the holidays had begun, he started to share more time with the kids when one day, a friend ran to him asking him to meet the principal who had sent his friend to bring him. When he reached the school, the principal was in tears. The innocent boy, with confusions in mind, asked why the principal would cry for his failure in exams and that was when, the principal shouted out with the pride and the feeling of guilt, that he got the second highest score in grade 10. This was a life changing day, when he went back to the graveyard, he would everyday cry with and that was the day, he realized that there is a purpose behind his living, God had created him for a reason, and from then, till now, there was never a look back.

The school became his world and he would take care of arrangements during every celebration at the school. He continued his studies while he also worked as a warden, where there were a bunch of kids and since they were of almost his age, they could connect to him and became his soul mates. While his excellence in sports helped him get educated in a prestigious university, he would come back to the hostel after college and again, back to his world with his beloved. During this journey of 3 years with these children, he realized that the children and teens needed someone in their journey. Not to dominate and guide, but if he could only let them know that he would journey alongside, with them in their rove of life. This became the concept he began to hold onto and is the story behind the founding of an organization like Beyond Barriers, which gives an answer to those problems of the current generation. Problems like emotional and physical adultery, threats within family remain untold unless there is someone who is there along with the teens in their journey. Meet Mr. George Ebenezer Vincent, the founding brain of this concept, which was the result of his own experience of life.
Beyond Barriers
More than 200 volunteers have joined the team of Beyond barriers today and the core team still remains a small number. George believes it’s not the number of people that matters, it is important to have passionate people in an organization. There were days when they approached institutes to give them a chance to speak to the children to empower them, with no expectation of money. Today, institutes from across the Globe want Beyond Barriers and the team to be the reason to help the teens to be empowered in their circles. The team has so far been the reason to empower 540,000 teenagers from more than 23 countries, in all aspects of life. George’s strength in attracting the kids, is his ability to put himself into their shoes and connect to their feelings, along with a lot of humour in his sessions. Especially when he visits teens from different countries, he ensures to meet some of them, a day or two before the session to understand their perspectives and to produce successful results of getting the belief in every child who is a part of his value based sessions. “To teach the teens something, it’s very important to connect deeper. One must be transparent while he teaches something to them. Being modest and at the same time, being straight forward is an art to learn and improve everyday”, he says.

The major problems of today’s teenagers have been insecurity and inferiority. 90% of the times, they grow up comparing themselves with others in every aspect of life and that could be studies, beauty, accent, social interactions, relationships, workplace and more. He responds to such teens by saying, “Identity is not solid. Many have twisted identity and it comes from who you are and not what you do. Who you are defines what you do! There isn’t anything to prove, hide or lose. I always teach the teenagers that they don’t have to be like someone else.  When someone says that they feel alone or left out just because they don’t have a girlfriend or a boyfriend, I tell them that it’s okay to not to have girlfriend or boyfriend. I always ask them to get love from the right people. There is surely someone in your surroundings to be with you. Find that right person and hang on to him or her. There are 3 most important things every teen needs to know. First, whenever something like this influences, focus on your strengths. If you do not know what to do, do what you know, eventually you will know what to do. Second, receive love from right places. Spend time with parents, get hugs from them. Today, the time they spend within the family is less. Everybody is into telephones and televisions. Many children who get that love from wrong people, are the ones not getting it from the right ones. So get what you want from the right people. Third, have a good support system, connect to some good friends. Have 3 circles of friends - casual friends, close friends, and committed friends. Keep the support system strong. Most importantly, involve yourself in charity. People from corporate say that they find more happiness when they execute the CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) - Activities where they spend time with underprivileged children. When you involve yourself in such activities, you receive love from those pure hearts”.
Beyond Barriers
George’s phone inbox and facebook is filled with messages from teenagers across the globe. Messages from teens which doesn’t share any joy, but the messages from them when they are weak, cut their hands, about to suicide and phone calls from them crying due to wrong directions and peer pressure. George feels blessed to be the reason to help someone at that point of time. He is okay with it as long as they know there is someone to journey with them -  a certain kind of a journey with the teens with a certain personality, backgrounds and experiences. His heart has become soft over the years, which breaks when a teenager calls with a lot of pain.  He also believes that it’s important to be with a melting heart for someone at that stage.

His purpose to be the reason to bring more smiles in teens has made him adopt more children. His wife and his biological son are truly supportive to George’s intentions. They have rescued kids who have been abused, dragged into child labour and more. The family’s number is now 20, where each of them truly believe it’s a happy home which gives only love and no negativity. Every child gets time from the parents and gets to share the feelings with them personally. The management between work and family has not been easy for him but the smiles which are the results of his actions have made George not to stop.
He also concludes with a message for the parents, “Never be too busy for your kids. I have heard of a joke where they say, father works for the hardware, mother works for the software, and the child is no-where. It’s important to give some time for your children so that they get the right love.  Secondly, don’t take strong decisions, it will affect the child. The divorce cases are increasing day by day and the children become lonely. They need to be in a place of authenticity. As long as they are open, it’s safe, but if they hide, it’s dangerous”.

Not everyone gets everything, every time in every way possible. George is one such individual, who never received love at the age he had to, but, he gave it to the children who needed that love at that age. The happiness in giving cannot be understood until felt and the world needs more lives which can help more teens to cross those barriers and be empowered to go and grow beyond barriers.
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