Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Raise the World

You know those charity commercials that show children looking straight into the camera from their dirty, poor conditions? The images that make your heart wrench but you don't know what you can do about it? The phone number flashes on the screen asking you to make a donation but you have no idea if it will actually make a difference.

It's one thing to look at images on your flat-screen TV from the comfort of your couch in your heated home. It's another thing to photograph those images yourself, to be standing there in your dusty Teva sandals and long skirt, not wanting to take out your camera but also dying to so that you don't forget what's before your eyes.

It's different to become friends with the little boys who play soccer in the neighborhood field every day in their bare feet, to shoot marbles into dirt holes with them and to learn their names and let them laugh at you as you try out your Swahili--and then to one day see those boys in their home environment, to peek over the fence and see them in the only clothes you'll ever see them in, with dirt in their mouths and their little baby sister sitting in the yard with tears seemingly permanently running down her brown cheeks, with no adult nearby to feed and protect her. At times like that you only wish that picking up the phone and giving a credit card number is all it took to make everything right.

(These ain't no photos from google images!)
This Friday is an event called the Hunger Banquet at BYU and this is my plug for it. The theme this year is children.  Not only do the proceeds of the event go towards organizations we feel are influential, but every person who attends will have greater perspective and awareness of what children go through today. Being aware of a problem is always the first step to solving it.

Some problems are more urgent in solving than others:

"We are guilty of many errors and many faults, but our worst crime is abandoning the children, neglecting the foundation of life. Many of the things we need can wait. The child cannot. Right now is the time his bones are being formed, his blood is being made and his senses are being developed.  To him we cannot answer ‘Tomorrow’. His name is ‘Today’."

Gabriela Mistral, 1948

When you raise children right, you raise the world.

1 comment:

  1. my mom gave a shoebox full of toys to Operation Christmas Child, and I know whoever got it had a better day.


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