Those Other Children
Right now, as you are reading this, you are probably wearing comfortable sweatpants and sitting in your leather office chair with a nice cup of coffee in your warm home. Like me, you are mainly sheltered from the horrors of daily life in third world countries unless you immigrated there, do missionary work or have family there. We hear some general things on the news–maybe a segment on CNN about the poverty epidemic occasionally. Whenever disaster hits, like the 2010 Haiti earthquake or the 1993 genocide in Rwanda; the public heartstrings are tugged at visual images of poor children and families living in unimaginable conditions and going through unspeakable calamities.
According to UNICEF, 22,000 children die each day due to poverty. And they “die quietly in some of the poorest villages on earth, far removed from the scrutiny and the conscience of the world. Being meek and weak in life makes these dying multitudes even more invisible in death – GLOBALISSUES.ORG
It seems almost shameful to be producing children in our comfortable, first world countries with our large homes, nice cars and abundant food while thousands of children die every day. Of course, we have to reproduce ourselves to keep the planet running and continue civilization but it is very disturbing to have whole countries of wealthy families with well-nourished, well-educated children while third world children are begging on the streets, orphaned, in jail, addicted to drugs or abused by the social system of their respective country. We see World Vision commercials on television asking us in solemn voices to spare some money for these kids who are living in extreme deprivation. But throwing money at the problem won’t make it better. The decaying social system of these countries need a complete overhaul. These people are living in constant fear and with deep insecurities. In many of these third world countries, political instability and extreme inequality needs to end. These children need basic public services such as food, clothing, education and health services as well as drug rehab and psychiatric help for the traumatizing events that likely occurred in their lives: the witnessing or involvement in bombings, shootings, murder, prostitution, drug overdosing and loss of family members.
I’m not a saint. I don’t think many of us are. We just wake up, go to work and try to make a living. But sometimes, we need to do more as first world citizens who have been fortunate to have been born into the family we have. Yes, American and Canadian children are so lucky. We have to let these governments know we are appalled and disgusted with regards to the quality of life for children in their countries. We have to write to our own governments and raise awareness for these issues. If Dancing With The Stars takes precedence over children who feel they have no hope, then really…there is no hope. I think before we have more first world babies, we need to make sure that these thousands of children who are without hope each day have something to look forward to tomorrow. Because then what kind of world are we bringing our next generation into?