Over Spring Break, I had the lovely opportunity to visit the UN headquarters in New York.
On exhibit at this time were a set of photos under the title Journeys to School. This photos showed the hardships many children face just on their way to school. The captions file in the story, detailing how common (or as was often the case, uncommon) it was to go to school, what the classrooms looked like and the safety they represented for these children. It was truly touching.
What I found remarkable, if not a little disconcerting was the large list of places the exhibition covered. It made me think of how lucky I was. And I wondered, could education reform have another focus? Could we reform these schools, these journeys so that the burden was less, the joy greater and the success extrapolative? These children understand how lucky they are and yet they have so little. I have so much, yet often I, and other of my classmates, don’t realize how lucky we are to go to such nice schools, on paved roads, in cars. How can we take our time and make their smiles brighter, showing people that when you value education, it can truly bring happiness. I want that for all children. Happiness, especially through education. Learning should be enjoyable and should make you want to never stop. These children are like beacons of light- they endure injustice for the sake of a brighter future, for the sake of education.
Apart from the photo exhibition, all throughout the building we saw depictions of injustice, what the UN was trying to do to help and various examples of difficult lives from all over the world. For me, I was saddened and grateful for my blessed life. My sister however had some furious yet very wise words that really inspired me. “Instead of hurting people with wars, can’t countries help people and do things for good? If people do it for God, wouldn’t God want you to do good things? If we (as people) just stopped being mean and stopped interfering (as countries), we’d solve a lot of problems. If people just treated others the way they would like to be treated, the world would be nicer. It’s really that easy.”
I don’t know if that’s all it takes, but it’s definitely worth a shot.
Education as the North Star and a source of happiness. Kindness taking over. Sounds good to me!