Saturday, January 28, 2012

Do you ever think about . . .

. . . how small our world has become? Advances in technology have allowed us a virtual presence on the other side of the world within seconds. Exotic, faraway places once found only in National Geographic magazine or in movies now appear on our screens in real time. Progress has magnified the relative prosperity Americans enjoy and, by contrast, the extreme poverty, disease and hunger that exist elsewhere.

More affluent nations send troops to aid in struggles moving away from government oppression and toward democracy. Doctors Without Borders sporadically provide health care. Celebrities clean up water supplies and other organizations drop occasional bags of grain where needed. Global reach-out is growing and that’s a good thing, but I believe teaching others to be self-sufficient is more important than these short-term solutions.

Have you considered that there is hunger for more than food? What I’m thinking about is best reflected in a quote we’ve all heard: “Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime”  What this suggests to me is that there is a hunger for knowledge, a condition that even the hungriest may not recognize in their lives. Teach a man to build his own shelter, to purify his water, to grow more and better crops, to keep his family healthy. Growing knowledge is the long-term solution.

You and I may not have much in common with some of our neighbors on this planet; what we all share, however, is the human spirit. What happens to the human spirit sitting in the dessert waiting for a bag of food to drop; the spirit of the mother watching her children waste away from starvation or typhoid; the spirits of children whose parents die in their arms from aids? They have no hope, no dreams. Or do they?

What if you, one human, could inspire another? You can. Did you know that? You, one small human being, can assist one small human on the other side of the world in changing his or her future for the better. You can help satisfy the hunger for knowledge by offering LITERACY. Read a child a story and he is entertained; teach him to read (and provide books) and you just might be creating a future world leader. A doctor, a teacher, a builder. An engineer, a farmer, a statesman.

What if you could put a book in the hands of the child who would become the next Nelson Mandela, Mother Theresa or Ghandi? You can do this. One person to another. One spirit to another.

Our daughter, Kristen, has a passion for literacy. She visits Zambia every summer, bringing with her teaching skills to share with both educators and parents, as well as reading skills for their children. She also brings books. Hundreds of books. Books that are devoured by hungry eyes. She feeds their knowledge. She feeds their spirits and gives them dreams to dream for the future.

I would SO like for you to watch the following video and look over A to Z Literacy’s website. This is the non-profit organization born of Kristen’s efforts along with the help of many, many other human spirits. You can help. Easily.

Go to A to Z Literacy website!


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