Meet Leonardi

Nowadays, it’s so rare for people to show how much they love and care for each other even though everybody is looking to love and be loved.

This post is long overdue as I sat down with Leonardi a month ago. Alas. This young man was one of the first of my Belizean friends. As I was out walking during that first week I was here by myself, I was called into a small little café and introduced to him. Ever since that first coke together, we’ve never looked back.

From that interview so long ago:

[Long pause] Me? Describe myself? [Longer pause] [Deep breath] A talented young man willing to give of himself to others and that strives to be the best version of himself every day. Someone that’s in love with cooking, reading, and spending time with friends.

{I could have told you this without the interview. This young man has exhibited a rare selflessness that even I have trouble imitating.}

My biggest challenge? [Looks off] Following Christ. It’s really hard… not that I’d say that I carry a heavier cross than others. I try to overcome this by seeing Christ in others. When I sit with other people, it’s easier for me to see the love, to see Christ. I owe this Christian life, I owe my faith, to the school. It was during that first week of outdoor orientation that I had felt an inner peace, a peace that had been unknown to me before. It was in that moment of recognition that I decided to go back to the Church and start practicing the faith.

{Since then, he’s not only accompanied us but has taken significant leadership roles on two other orientation adventures. Again, a beautiful demonstration of his willingness to serve without recognition.}

Ah, what makes me happy. I’m happy when people show how much they love. Nowadays, it’s so rare for people to show how much they love and care for each other even though everybody is looking to love and be loved.

{Shoot, how true. If only we weren’t afraid to smile at each other and maybe even pass on a few compliments. Oh, how radically different the human experience would be if we willingly admitted ourselves to an authentic love.}

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