Lucia has something to say

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

The World's Children

As life rumbles on under the gray Wisconsin sky, I’ve been thinking about children I meet when I travel.

Homeless boys in Nairobi who watch parked cars to make a little money. Well-fed daughters living with their families. Children laying on mats, starving because of a drought. Girls and boys in overcrowded orphanages. Street kids in Lima sniffing glue. Classrooms full of children in uniforms getting a basic education. Children working in India, bent over open flames shaping hot glass bangles. Boys in the Philippines mixed in with the adult prison population. African girls wearing dirty dresses that no longer zip up the back.

I think about what I’d like to see. A world where children have sufficient food, decent clothes, and a place to live. Where they receive a basic education. Where they need not work before their time. Where they can read and have access to books. Where they can play. Where they do not die of curable diseases. Where they are not put in prison or called on to be soldiers. Where loving adults would watch over them and care for them, so they can be children.

How do we get there? To that world?

(Lest you think I'm too intense, let me add that I'm watching Gilmore Girls and eating M&Ms while I write this.)

16 Comments:

Blogger QT said...

I hear you, it is so hard. I deal with wealthy people who want to give, but feel pulled in so many directions they don't know where there dollars will be put to the best use. Bill and Melinda Gates were profiled in The New Yorker (last October) for the exhaustive process that led them to choose Third World health as the target for the billions their Foundation will give away. We are so fortunate here, I wish more people knew that, truly. Perhaps it would make them give more.

6:37 PM  
Blogger jen said...

ah, sister...i think about this stuff all the time. i've been trying for years to break into international relief work but can't get hired w/o experience and can't find someone to give me the chance...but i persist..

but god, yes...sister...yes. i think about this stuff all the time.

8:09 PM  
Blogger Maggie said...

and suddenly, or not so suddenly really, my problems seem so tiny, little, and bearable. I'm a bleeder - meaning my heart bleeds for every kid I see that needs something. My husband tells me I will only live in constant heartache that way but I can't help it. Someone has to cry for them.

9:41 PM  
Anonymous Thailand Gal said...

I also think about this stuff ~ probably too much. There legislation UN conferences and sanctions but the fact will always remain that as long as Big Business serves as the moral compass for the western world, we will continue to see these kinds of abuses. Profit over people inevitably leads there.

And, no, I'm not being too intense either. I'm drinking hot chocolate and watching "Globe Trekker" on PBS. :)

Peace,

~Chani (Thailand Gal)

10:12 PM  
Blogger bobealia said...

I don't think I could do what you do because I'm not sure I could emotionally handle seeing those kinds of things all the time. Well, that is not true, when I lived in the Caribbean, I saw it everyday, but it was the corruption that got to me, not seeing the kids in the streets with their bare feet and dirty clothes. Funny that.
Interesting though, that the idea of childhood did not exist until quite recently. I think it was the Victorian times when children went from little adults to "children."

5:59 AM  
Blogger Sanjay said...

I think what counts are your thoughts and that your heart is in the right place.

The plight of children is always a heartbreak. What if more of us provided a loving home as adoptive parents? On a personal level that would be doing something although small..

6:27 AM  
Blogger Citymouse said...

Those thoughts cross my mind every day as I send my own off to school. I do what I can here at home and then I do my best to educate my children. To let them know how good they have it and to think other than self. Oh, and I pray.

6:49 AM  
Blogger Popeye said...

(see, I think we can fix a lot of it)

7:24 AM  
Blogger meno said...

I wish i knew what to do.
I do little things that i can do, but i have no idea how to solve the big picture.

9:55 AM  
Anonymous kat said...

I think you are really amazing - your life is so extraordinary. And yet you still manage to fit in and enjoy Gilmore Girls.

LOVE IT!

10:35 AM  
Blogger Susan as herself said...

I think that same thought whenever I hear a news story or see images in the papers... it all seems so ridiculous in this day and age, that this planet cannot conquer the logistical problem of starvation and basic poverty.

And I hope it's not bad of me, but now I really would like a glass bangle...

11:33 AM  
Blogger St. Dickeybird said...

Oh, you had me right up until the slothiness!
:)

12:35 PM  
Anonymous gr said...

Gulp. A person has to feel grateful if they are warm, dry and comfortable.

12:58 PM  
Blogger Tink said...

It's not a children's world, that's for sure. We're like animals that have forgotten how to take care of our young... Which is backwards considering where we all come from. But how do you help them all?

3:32 PM  
Blogger KC said...

It's not fair. It hurts my heart to think about.

I read that New Yorker article that qt mentioned. The Gates are doing such good with their money. What if everyone did?

6:57 PM  
Blogger ecm said...

I loved your paragraph toward the end. You summed up many of the wishes I have for children too.

4:51 PM  

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