The One to Remember

This happens every few months.  I am just whistling along, caught up in the niceties of life, when I am derailed by my own selfishness.

I’m all too comfortable.  My biggest concerns are when I can schedule my next run or which shoes will be my next purchase.  And yes, finding a job is important, but the honest truth is that we will be okay.  Because I was born in an air-conditioned hospital in North Carolina, and not in the sewage-filled slums of Port-au-Prince.  This comfortable life I live, it’s been given to me.  I haven’t earned it.  What’s worse is that I have held starving children, only to forget their faces, to continue living as if they aren’t dying.  And, wow, this is harsh and depressing, but it’s true.  I don’t think about Thuto every moment of every day, because if I did, I’d be a mess all the time.  Writing this, I’m not sure how to resolve this anger. Because once you get over the initial sadness, you get angry.  Angry at the world for being so unkind, but even angrier at yourself because you’d rather forget those starving faces.  It’s one of those ‘you should know better’ things.  If I never left the comfort of my suburban home, never watched the news, or went across town, I wouldn’t know any better.  But I do know better, and I know starving children by name.  I have no excuse for not spending every moment helping them.  I only choose to forget, so that I can continue living my comfortable life.  Until, every month or so, I remember.  And I get angry and I cry and I write super depressing blog posts.

This post, rant, what have you, was inspired by these articles:

http://www.incourage.me/2013/02/the-1-thing-you-really-have-to-know-about-your-family.html

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-latin-america-21542842

But mostly, it was inspired by these little faces:

You see, when little kids live without running water, they get really dirty.  I mean, it sort of blends in with their skin and their dirt-caked clothing.  And when they grab your arm to come play with them, they leave a little dirt handprint on your porcelain skin.  At the end of the day, you wash off the little dirt handprint, along with the sweat from the desert heat, and you fly back across the ocean and go on with your life.  Only the handprint stays, this time on your heart.  It was never an invasive or aggressive handprint.  It was a simple one – play with me, love me, remember me.

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