It was last April when I started to think differently, when I started to see the world from a different perception and overall, when I realized how blind and selfish many of us are.
I was in Colombia doing community service with my previous school and the Red Cross Foundation; we were visiting a charity camp in Candelaria (Barranquilla, Colombia) where the victims of the Colombian winter floods were living. People there live on a glass of water per day, one playground to share between over 100 children and with three bathrooms for over 500 people to contribute to. I was amazed and surprised by how calm and happy these people were. There was this one old lady who caught my attention the most, every time we went there, she used to sit and talk to us about her life. This one day, my friend asked her whether she was happy about her new home or not. The old lady simply replied, “As long as I have a roof on top of me at night; enough food and water to survive with and lovely people I can enjoy my day with then why not be happy?”
It was time to go, my fellow classmates and I were all seated in the bus ready to leave. I switched my Blackberry on, opened twitter and started going through the timeline. The first three tweets I read were something like this: “OMG it’s so dusty outside, somebody kill me!”; “Uffff my father forced me to go the family lunch with him and the kids, @ PF Changs”; “I told Raju to get me a Big Mac from Mc Donald’s but he got me a Chicken Royale from Burger King instead, I’m so killing him!”. The moment I read those three tweets was when a tear of rage started sliding down my cheek.
Unfortunately, many people here are not aware that out there exist people who wish they had at least 1% of what we have. It may be a bicycle, pencil or even a family. Here in Kuwait, a kid can easily go up to his mother and ask her the following: “Mom, can I please have 10 K.D? I’m going out for dinner with my friends”, and the mother easily gives her child the money with no regrets. But did you know that out there exist millions of kids who ask their mother what’s for dinner and their mother replies with teary eyes: “sorry son, we’ve got no food for tonight, we’ll have to wait till tomorrow”?
I believe that the majority of our society is blind, blind because we’re not aware of what’s happening out there and fuss about every little thing. Instead of fussing, we should be thankful for what we have, start to share with others and actually give. Be thankful for being Kuwaiti, be thankful for sleeping under a roof and be thankful for having an education. How can you share and how can you give? As a matter of fact, sharing and giving is as easy as 1+1. Sharing and giving ranges from smiling to a random person in the street or in a mall, to donating money and clothes for organizations helping those in need. Next time you feel frustrated about not being able to go out on the weekend, for not getting the food that you wanted or for any other reason, just remember about those people and everything will change.
In the near future, Faisal and I will post links to local and global foundations where you can easily donate and make many smile.
Leanah Al Awadhi