A child is born into comfort and ease. Her parents love her more than words can say. They sacrifice financially so no opportunity of life passes her by. They pay for her education. New uniforms every year, multiple shirts and skirts in case anything happens. Every schoolbook is bought, and her room is filled with storybooks there just for her enjoyment. Her education throughout every stage is a given, and learning is something she often takes for granted. The opportunity to go to college is a guarantee she looks forward to each passing year. The only question in her mind is which university will she attend. Her family by no means lives a lavish life according to American standards, but she has never had to question anything: food, housing, school, clothing. She does not know these as luxuries but as the basic commodities of life.
A child is born into poverty and hardship. Her parents love her more than words can say. They sacrifice financially, but still the opportunities of life pass this little girl by. They can’t always pay for her education. When they can, they can only afford a few days of school at a time and one uniform sweater. Tattered and torn, she wears it year after year even after she has long outgrown it. Her parents can barely afford her school books, if they can at all, and at night she dreams of what it would be like to have even one story book of her own. Throughout every stage of her life, her education is never a guarantee. She has no way of knowing if her parents will be able to afford sending her to school tomorrow. She dreams of attending college, but that dream is out of reach on her own. She has to question everything in her life: food, housing, school, clothing. She lives everyday not knowing if she will have the basic commodities, which to her are actual necessities, of life.
2018, Matanya Primary School
I am the girl in the first description, and yesterday I met countless students who fit the second. As I looked into their eyes, the thought running through my mind endlessly was why? Why was I born into the life I have; why they theirs? What have I done to deserve anything I have? And the answer is nothing. I did not choose my parents, nor did I choose where I was to be born. Everything I enjoy in my life of luxury has been provided for me. As I returned the student’s shy smiles, and held their little hands, the truth of human equality hit me like never before. The students were so smart, so gentle, so beautiful, so driven, and so joyful. We played in the dirt and laughed and danced and we were the same. We were human. We were from different sides of the world, different cultures and families, but united by our humanity. And it was the students who changed me, not I them. They touched my soul in a way words fail to describe. I hope that these came close. If you are reading this, I hope it caused you to recognize the blessings in your life. I hope you paused for a moment to consider the people to whom those blessings are not attainable. I hope you will consider this question that has now become a part of my heart: for what other reason have I been blessed than to pour out my life in service to help my fellow man?
We are all the same; we are all worthy of love.
Matanya’s Hope Mission Participant, 2018