Tuesday, June 12, 2007

"PoVerTy is tHe WoRsT foRm of VioLenCe" ~ Mahatma Ghandi

... and I thought that the "Last Supper" was for grown-ups only. I find this heartrending picture from Joey Velasco's "Hapag ng Pag-Asa (Table of Hope)" very moving because it emphasizes how helpless children really needs our guidance and support. Children are little angels sent from above to bring us joy and remind us of simplicity, innocense / purity, and child's play ~ the time when people and not money matters the most. To see the big and scary world through the eyes of these children send chills down my spine. In Guillermo del Toro's "Pan's Labyrinth", I really felt how poor children, like Ofelia (also Princess Moanna), yearns for that motherly love and care that each of us can easily share with them. From the mandrake root-baby that cures the mother's illness to Ofelia's baby brother, who would have been the next communist leader ~ the movie portrays a lot of metaphors and symbolism over the power that children have with the future. The future is in their hands and it's in how they are raised that we build tomorrow.

"Poverty is the worst form of violence", according to Mahatma Gandhi. It can destroy a person's soul and hope of living. It can turn even the purest of heart into a monstrous criminal when their only hope is to grip the knife by its sharps ("kapit-patalim", anyone care to explain?). Poverty cripples the citizens and the advancement of their economy. But, people don't really realize its deep impact on people's lives... and the children. Children are the number one victims of poverty. At a very young age, they are easily influenced by corrupt people who turns them into menace of the society. Without guidance and with desperate means to survive, they grow up to become criminals and we become their victims. Yes, it is a circle of life, which is the primarily reason why we have to care. I'm sure that a lot of people already heard about how third world countries are afflicted by too much poverty. But, does the message really sinks in? I don't think that anyone can feel it from the travel books they read or really see it from the news and the media, nor understand it from the discussions they hear in the radio. To actually EXPERIENCE the day to day living of these people is to gain the wisdom of understanding poverty. Acknowledging poverty is not enough. To experience is to understand why we should act on it, no matter how tiny our contribution maybe. It can even start with educating or teaching those who are "unaware". You can even start with your own children.

Education plays a major role in providing people with the tool that can make them choose the right leaders, make better decisions with their lifestyle, health, and their environment. People who lacks education tend to blame everything (the government, the rich people, etc.) instead of trying to find a solution. I wrote an entry on my other blogsite about raising good parents. This is not "the chicken or the egg" type of question. Our children will be the future parents in our society, who in turn will shape the future through their own children. We start mending the society from our own home. Ignorance is a bliss but, it will not save humanity. Education and responsible parenting should be the top priorities on every political platform.

Children of top developing countries are also becoming a big problem in our society. Drugs, obesity, poor self-image, teenage pregnancy, STD, alarming rates of school drop-outs and test performance, etc. Now, how do you deal with that? Maybe start by listening to Whitney Houston's "The Greatest Love of All". A priest once said during his homily that it's staying connected with this children, through communication and activities, that we can keep them straight. Every parents should be ready when they have children. Ideally, they should have enough time, money, and education of how they should take care of their children, before they should bring these innocent lives in this world. But, ofcourse, successful parenting is both a combination of luck and skills. I've met great parents who just happened to have bad kids because of certain aspects of their environment (in school, in the community, in the internet!). There will always be things that are beyond parents' control. I think that we should slowly try to teach children the concept of responsibility, sharing/generosity, good moral values, and skills at a young age. Keep them engage in various, productive activities. Keep all aspects of their personality healthy ~ mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual. Notice that there's no "financial" aspect to it. We can not spoil our children with toys, gifts, and money and expect them to grow up as descent people. Since they absorb information like a sponge, it's easier to shape them into great citizens when we start doing so at an early age. Maybe they will someday be the key in finding solutions to threats in humanity ~ violence, war, poverty, global warming... to name a few. Look up "humanity extinction" Wikipedia.com and you'll definitely get a wake-up call.
There's one good thing that I can think of about poverty, it brings people together. It forces them to unite. These people are probably too busy trying to survive hunger, diseases, deaths in their family, and all the everyday challenges in their lives that they probably don't have a concept of what we usually complain about in our everyday life ~ the traffic, our family problems, money, work problems, the weather, depression, etc. Do you see how tiny your problems are compared to theirs?

No comments:

Post a Comment