“Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?”

What's the biggest lie you've ever told?

I once told a seven-year-old boy he would become President of the United States.

I've been knocking on doors all day in a challenging neighborhood in Ohio. The sidewalks scream for repair. The air reeks of decay.  

A wandering boy approaches and inquires, "What are you doing?"

I kneel down to explain, "I'm reminding the grown-ups to vote." He then follows me from door to door, until the bleak November sun gives out its last sigh.

"Antonio, what do you want to be when you grow up?" The innocent child then points at the campaign flyers we've been handing out.

"I'm sure you'll be President one day! I'll vote for you, Antonio!"

I've lied.

I know the stats. A boy from this place is half as likely to finish school and twice as likely to be jobless, with a one-in-three chance of ending up in prison. While I am nurtured in a world of abundance – of resources, ideas, hope – Antonio has to defy his world of deprivation. What separates mine from his, is the lottery of birth.

Every child deserves a fair shot in life.

I will devote my life to mending this lie.

— Elsa Sze