Where Children Sleep
Here's another link for you to check out - however the link brings you to a site about a book. I came across the book, Where Children Sleep at my sister-in-law's house and was rather moved by it.
It's really a photo essay of sorts that reveals the disparity of living conditions throughout the world. It's a a large, hard covered book that randomly shows photos of children's bedrooms around the world. On the page opposite the photos of the bedrooms are portraits of the child who sleeps in that bedroom plus a short blurb about the child's life.
The photos are presented randomly with seemingly little intentional juxtaposition of slums and high style living. The effect is the opposite of emotional manipulation - rather the author seems to allow you to be drawn to the images that you are inclined to linger on without forcing his message on you.
The impact it had on me was significant - it is utterly heartbreaking when you see the conditions that some children have to live in. I'm left wondering, isn't there more that I can do...isn't there something to be done that could make a difference? I have to admit I find it overwhelming and don't know how to action the anguish that I feel when I dwell on the seeming unfairness of it all. To be sure, we try to do our part to help those who need it but sometimes I wonder if I'm doing enough.
We are so blessed - even those who can afford to rent the smallest of places here in Canada. If you have a clean, warm and secure place to lay your head at the end of the day, consider yourself rich. I consider being good stewards of the things that I have so that I may be able to give to others a start. If we have been given or have gained some level of material success, then we have the responsibility to help others. It is a privilege to live in the great country of Canada, and of course with privilege comes responsibility.
I also try hard to remind myself constantly to be grateful for the things I have and not complain about the things I don't have. I literally have everything I need and so many of the things I want. When I want to eat, it's not a matter of going to see if there's anything to eat, rather it's a matter of deciding what I want to eat from the plethora of delicious foods that I have. That's a luxury that should not be taken for granted.
Take a look at the website or check the book out from your local library branch. The next time you tuck your children in or you bundle up in your nice warm, soft bed, remember you are a lucky one. Be grateful and maybe even offer up a little, "Thank you." Then consider a way that you can make a difference in someone's life...and do it.