What concerns you most in the world today?
Here’s a few key issues that concern me to start things off.
- Gender Inequality
- Human Trafficking
- Child Labour
- World Health
These are some of the key issues that we hear on a regular basis and they have become so frequent that they almost wash over us with little or no reaction.
Why have we got to a point where it’s not something worthy of our outrage and concern? However, these are also the sanitised unemotional words listing the issues that do concern and drive me and are a big part of who I am today.
They are also a key reason behind why I started She Made This.
Each of these things are monumental and daunting. Some would say insurmountable…
Scary, distressing, sobering…..
And yet it’s easy to get caught up in everyday life and busyness and think it’s not our concern. “Let’s just leave it to others better qualified to sort it out”. However, these issues are not mythical or just happening in faraway lands. In fact, all the above are also alive and kicking in little old NZ too, but are magnified, to even greater extremes in developing countries. Sad but true.
The good news is. Most of these issues are manmade and as Nelson Mandela said (referring to poverty) that “it can be overcome and eradicated by the actions of human beings”. Great but how? And why should we?
Because overcoming poverty is “not a gesture of charity. It is an act of justice. It is the protection of a fundamental right. The right to dignity and a decent life”. Well put Nelson!
After experiencing life living in a developing country (Bangladesh) I can no longer dumb it down or ignore these issues. I consciously pace myself as to how much I watch and listen to. I’ve seen and witnessed things first hand which were disturbing and distressing and the sad reality is it’s only a very small awareness in terms of many tragic sad things going on. And unlike the people in developing countries we can experience, observe and leave. We are very fortunate to live where we do.
- I’ve been chased by a one legged beggar across a four lane busy road in Dhaka. In a city of 17 million or so there are a lot of beggars and it’s very sad and confronting too. We even got held up in our car by a begging elephant – but that’s another story.
- My heart goes out to the young girl married off to a much older man because her family needs her off their hands because they’re desperate financially and can’t afford to keep her.
- To the children whipped out of school to work. Children of garment workers, who aren’t used to proper food so that when they go to school and are fed a meal their body struggles to tolerate it and are then removed because they might as well work instead.
- Little fine stitches by a primary aged school child are much better when it comes to making footballs & rugby balls for major companies in the west!
- Children dying in the cancer hospital of poor hygiene not the cancer itself.
- Been horrified that on “World Hand-washing Day” there’s a nurse refusing to wash her hands while working in a ward with these sick children.
- And then there’s the despicable act of human trafficking. Relatives offering to help and take their nieces and nephews to get ‘work’ in a restaurant or shop to help the financial situation in the household and instead selling them to the sex traffickers or into slavery situations.
It’s all very disturbing.
On our return lots of people asked me “did you enjoy it?” I couldn’t just give the straight forward answer that perhaps they expected. I would have to pause, to choose my words accurately to attempt to start to describe the experience which was actually amazing, so worth doing and life transforming. My brief response became just that – “I’m so glad I did it but enjoy is not the word I’d use. More like an assault on ALL the senses”.
When the information is no longer just in black and white print which you can choose to open and shut when it gets too much.
Or six o’clock news bulletin “items” which bring you to tears but next second whisk you back to reality with the sports or weather and it’s dinnertime. It can be oh so easy to just move on.
After experiencing life living in a developing country, your awareness grows and goes from black and white and becomes a full colour, in your face, confronting version of the day to day reality of the majority on this planet. And the phrase “first world problems” sure has new intensified meaning when you return home.
You get challenged by the sad realities for many in our world and it just can’t be ignored. You become like a dog with a bone. It gnaws away at you….
From my journey of researching and launching a small ethical business in the past year I’ve been on a huge learning curve and discovered there are so many practical ways we can all make a difference. People are interested and ask questions so I thought it might be worthwhile sharing some of that information and building on it as I don’t consider myself an expert. These issues are too big for individuals to take on. They need a community of concerned or shall we say conscious and caring consumers. Global citizens who care about people and the planet.
If you’d like to join me on a little journey to find some of the many ways you CAN make a difference.
Learn some simple, some fun, some practical and some thought provoking ways we can all choose to do, to help make the world a better place.
Little simple ideas. And as the African Proverb goes….
Join our 7 day ‘Make a Difference’ Challenge – all about living life with an ethical compass.