Monday, June 4, 2012

Time to Embrace the Good as well as the Bad and the Ugly

Today, it was raining on my way out of the movie theater, which by the way costs THREE dollars a ticket. To an American this may sound like a bargain, but in Indonesia the divide between the rich and poor is truly GREAT as the average income in some places in Indo is 2 dollars a day. As I walked outside, there were these "umbrella boys" outside. These are poor boys who will lend you their umbrella for a donation while you catch a cab. They had no shoes on. Had tattered clothes on and were soaking wet. Some of them were middle school age while others looked like they were in high school. I felt so bad for them and I felt a pain in my chest that I hadn't felt for quite some time. I've tried hard not to let things like this affect me, but my parents didn't raise me to turn a blind eye to injustice. My parents know what poverty looks like as they grew up in it themselves. My mother for example grew up without a father and worked since she was 9 years old in order to help support her family. She had to drop out of school when she was in the 5th grade.
They all looked adorable. Maybe it's because they look so much like Nicaraguan children that I felt like adopting them or perhaps it was simply because these were living, breathing human beings. We gave them a dollar (which is more than most of them get as a "donation" per person. If they are lucky they can make approx. 4 dollars (about 40,000 rupiah) during rainy days. In Indo, that's lunch and dinner for some people.
I truly wish I could do more for these children. I'm actually thinking of volunteering a few weekends while I am here. I don't want to just enjoy the good and comfortable side of Indonesia. I want to embrace its ugly but most real side too.

I always think,
If I die, do I want to die without having given of myself to the world?
If I don't act and give,
Then what was my life worth?
Do I want to live my days in mediocrity?

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