A Balancing Act

I’ve written this story about imbalance in the world. It’s written from the perspective of three very different children who live very different lives. Enjoy………!

Joseph

I’m laying on my back on the hard, bumpy, blood-red earth, staring up at the needle pricks of light that are visible through the dry grass roof. I can’t lay on my stomach, the protruding ridges of my ribs dig sharply into my flesh, causing me to toss and turn in uncomfortable sleep. But I can’t seem to fall into that slumber anyway, I lie awake, thinking of the days of hardship that lie ahead. The sickening smell of my five younger siblings, all laying in pools of their own diarrhoea makes my nostrils flare and my throat catch. I’m trying not to gag.

I’m looking around at all their tired faces, bloated stomachs, runny noses, thin legs, dirty clothes. Anger is welling up inside me. It’s not fair, I’ve heard stories of lands where healthcare is free and every child can go to school. If they can have it, why can’t we?

I may never have got an education, I may only come from a poor remote village, but I know injustice when I see it. From what I know about this earth, it is severely imbalanced and that has to change.

Why should I work from dawn ’til dusk  in the heat of the African sun just to survive another disease ridden day when others are able to live a life of leisure, with no responsibility or struggles at all?

Katie

I’m walking through the shopping centre with my Mum, cups of £3.00 coffee in our hands, our arms full of bags and boxes containing designer clothes, shoes, and hats. We’re laughing and talking and pointing at the shop fronts, when a woman approaches us. “Hi!” she wears a huge friendly smile and a t-shirt bearing the logo of a charity that helps impoverished kids in Africa.

“Have you got a moment?” she asks, still stretching her mouth into that smile, that seems as though it’s a size to big. “Yes, okay.” My Mum says politely, though she looks apologetically over at me.

The woman waves a photo of African children with pleading eyes and sorrowful expressions in our faces and leaps into some huge talk about poverty, disease, education, child labour and death. Her whole tone is sombre and emotional, yet she doesn’t wipe that stupid smile off her face. 

“Now,” she says, when she’s finally finished. ” just sign here to pay £12.00 a month. That’s just the same amount as four cups of coffee and it could support an entire family for a week.” I see her eyes lingering on my hands. I glance down at the paper cup and feel guilty. I guess that’s how she wants me to feel. My Mum takes the pen and silently writes her name on the sheet. As soon as she’s done, the woman snatches the pen away and runs off to flag down the next person, without a word.

“Ha!” my Mum laughs in disbelief, but she shakes it off and we keep walking.

It’s evening and I’m lying on my soft, comfy bed. Mum opens the door and sits beside me. “Hey, you alright today?” she asks me, stroking my hair. I think of all those kids who don’t have parents to love them and care for them. Before today, I never really thought of them at all. “I guess.” I unplug my earphones and hold them in my hands. They cost £15. I do the sums.

“Mum,” I begin. “How can I help those kids in Africa?” She looks confused for a minute then she remembers. “What kids? Oh, you still thinking ’bout them honey? I donated. We’re helping them now. Don’t worry about it. Get some sleep.” 

I lay awake for hours. I know that we’re sending money, but is money always the answer to everything? Surely donating to that woman can’t be the best way to help people? And my own Mum seemed to do it in such a careless manner, as though it was an easy option. Well, I’m not going to let donating four cups of coffee stop me making a real difference. I think giving to charity can do that, it can make you feel satisfied and good about yourself before you’ve even had the chance to change anything. I’m going to find a way that I can truly help.

Acacia

“Never stop writing.” My Dad’s words echo in my mind as I lay in the silent, dark house. “You can change hearts and minds with your words. It’s up to you how you use them.” I wrap the thin, woollen blanket around my shoulders and creep down the rickety wooden staircase.

I open my ancient laptop and click on my most visited site: WordPress. The bluish light illuminates the room as I sign in and go to Add New Post. Soon I’m typing furiously, fingers flying over the keys, hitting the letters in turn to spell out a powerful article about imbalance and injustice.

I’m calling it: A Balancing Act by Acacia Sycamore and here it is:

Who wants to live in world where one percent of the population own half of all our wealth? Where some people are billionaires and others live on less than $2.50 a day? Where 57 million children can’t go to school? I don’t. Do you?

The truth is that we already do, but we don’t have to. The world is completely out of balance and a lot of us want to change that.

I want to help raise awareness of the issues in our world. What we need to do is change our mindsets, start thinking of others beside ourselves. 

I am not asking for your money, I am asking for your change!

My Mom in her checked pyjama trousers and t-shirt that’s three sizes too big comes up behind me and reads over my shoulder. She laughs amusedly at my jokingly impudent last line.

She yawns, squints at the time on the screen and groans. I quickly press Publish and this text comes up:

Published on Acacia’s Sycamore Tree at 03.42am.

 

A Changing World

I wrote this essay after watching a documentary about a tribe called the Adis living in Northern India. Being home-schooled means you can learn from life, everything and anything around you. I took the opportunity to learn about tradition and change. Hope you find this interesting…..

A Changing World by Gracie Chick

The first thing you notice as the camera follows TV presenter, explorer and ex-marine Bruce Parry into the Adi village is that everyone seems to have their place. 

The scene is somewhat unusual to the majority of western eyes. Animals and people alike working, playing and living together in seemingly perfect harmony. They think nothing of it, whereas we see it as a rare example of communal living and an ideal that some of us may dream of. For them it is just the lifestyle they have always known. 

But things amongst the Adis are changing, visible cracks are beginning to form. The arrival of Christianity has split the village in two. The traditional belief in spirits and nature is now rivaled by this popular new religion. Roads have been established and electricity will bring the first appearance of television in the village. One would think that they would object to these advances, for their culture stills goes strong, but no. It seems that the Adis have encouraged the proceedings.

The Adis appear confident that these new things will exist peacefully alongside their ancient traditions.  They show no sign of stopping all the rituals and ceremonies that form an Adi’s day-to-day life.

The interesting thing will be to see how this modern way of life that is creeping into Adi villages will coexist with conventional Adi society. The big question is: Will the younger generations continue the simple lifestyle or will they opt for a new one?

My hope is that the Adis continue to pursue their culture for I believe it comes with many valuable and wonderful qualities such as hospitality, equality, understanding, being at one with nature.  If we suddenly thrust our self-centered ways upon them it may just wipe out something very precious. 

I am willing the Adis to make the decision not to be influenced by the many downsides to our world. We are supposed to help our neighbours when they are in need, be kind and generous to strangers, take only what we require and waste nothing, work hard, learn from nature’s example, respect our elders. But do we? The Adis do. It’s like they live in a constant circle of life which, hopefully, will never stop. 

Related image

In the Adi Village, everyone has their place. Here the children watch a woman as she weaves, learning the skills they will one day need to survive.

I wish that the people all over the world would be more eager to learn from the Adis, we should be adopting their culture rather than them adopting ours.  I think we could benefit and grow as humans if we started to live a bit more like the Adis. 

The Blogger Recognition Award

blogger-recognition-award-badge.jpg

I would like to thank JoT from JournalofThought and Thoughts of Life from ThoughtsofLife for nominating me for this amazing award! I really appreciate it.

Firstly, I need to state the rules:

  1. Thank the blogger who nominated you and provide a link to their blog
  2. Write a post to show your award
  3. Give a brief story of how your blog started
  4. Give two pieces of advice to new bloggers
  5. Select 15 other bloggers for this award
  6. Comment on each blog to let them know you nominated them and link to the post you created.

My Blog’s Story

I started my blog in October 2014, but its story began a long time before that. Ever since I can remember my parents have talked to me about being ‘a light in the darkness’. “The world is full of darkness, but you can be a light and you can encourage others to come out of the darkness too”, they would tell me. I have always loved to write so when I first heard of the opportunity to start a blog, I knew it was something I wanted to do. Now I use words to try and change the world. I write stories and poems and articles about current affairs and I share what I believe and what I love. I am passionate about trying to make a difference and I hope that, in some small way, I am.

My Advice To New Bloggers

  1. The most important piece of advice I have for you, newbie to the blogosphere, is that you have a voice! Never forget that. You have an amazing tool at your disposal. You can say something extraordinary, you can spread a message of hope and joy, you can reach out to people all around the world, you have incredible potential.

2.  Be honest. Be yourself, admit what you struggle with. I find this difficult at times, but I’ve realized that it makes you a better person. Readers respect you for being honest, perhaps different to everyone else. Different is cool, normal is boring.

Finally, I nominate these people:

Fizzy

Arya and Shruti

Emily

Grace

Misty

Em

Loren

RubixCube

Hope

Anna

Ash

Asha

Moo

Irys

Jordan