Monday, September 5, 2011

Excuse Me Mr. Secretary-General

You can't kill apathy. Nor can we deny the fact that we need change. We need your guidance. And because I have a lot of ideas and I can barely pitch them in 30 seconds, I am going to try and put them in print before I decide to speed talk it on a video and end up posting the script too because you wouldn't understand me.

This is my idea of what we can do to change the world. We'll be filming some of the insights in this post soon and hopefully, the UN Secretary-General will notice us enough to hear what we have to say.

Apathy, homeless children and a lack of education:
The biggest problem we face today is not poverty or disease. It's apathy of the people who can actually do something to prevent or change our situation. We see ourselves living in comfort and compare our lifestyles with the rich people who drive expensive cars and spend money like they spend time, but we never compare ourselves to those below us. We look at them and look away. Children on the sidewalks ask us for food or for what's left of what we eat but we wave them off as if they're a natural part of society. But they are not. These children are not naturally found on streets. Children are supposed to be in houses with proper clothes and going to school to learn how to live when they grow up. We wave them off as if there's nothing we can do, as if we don't care because it wasn't our fault that they live on the streets now.

But what if it was our fault? What if we had the chance to tell their parents to find a job first, to let them know what responsibility is like and how they can get through it? What if we could have given them enough knowledge and understanding that they could live a better life working rather than scraping out food for the dumps? What if the chance was there but we didn't do anything about it?

Mr. Secretary-General, I am speaking mostly to the people around me but I know that my voice can only reach but a few. With your position and privilege, you can make them hear what I have to say.

There's nothing we can do for the lives of the children who are already born and left on the streets by their parents except to house them, clothe them and teach them. But more than any of those physical provisions, what they need the most is love. They can get away with begging and scavenging for food but they can't live on without love. Once they realize that the people who are helping them are not just doing their job but are genuinely interested in them as persons, they will see that they don't have to keep running away anymore. I know a street kid before who was given a chance to stay with a proper family with proper food and provisions but he ran away. He ran away because he felt like he wasn't a part of the family no matter how the parents made him see that. He was 13 years old. If we could only reach out to those who are younger, those whose minds we can still mold, we can change the way their future goes. We can send them to school or send school teachers to them. We can teach them to have fun and be productive at the same time. We can show them that their lives are worth our time and sacrifice and love. We can show them we love them even if they are in unfortunate circumstances. Mr. Secretary-General, I propose, not an orphanage, but a fun house that is built for children who have nowhere to go and no one to run to. Not an orphanage where the main idea of its existence is to find someone to adopt the kids but a resort, a sanctuary for these kids to feel safe. And maybe when the time is right, when they've learned what they needed to learn, when they know how it feels to be loved and want it, maybe then they will be ready to be adopted.

Going on to the preventive stage, I urge you Mr. Secretary-General to impose a quality control commission on education. A group or division of the best auditors in each country, sector, or vicinity who can effectively evaluate the state of education in each locality. I'm sure we all know about the lack of schools and lack of teachers in many rural places but have we addressed the lack of quality in those areas that actually have teachers and schools? No. We are comforted by the fact that we have given employment to teachers who will man their desks from 7am to 5pm. Teachers who take pride in not giving the students a hard time, thus allowing the students to slack off and forget everything they ever learned. Mr. Secretary-General, there are many schools in many countries who 'offer' 'good' 'quality' education to students but are not exactly committed to bringing that to reality. They enjoy the first days of teaching but end up slacking off like the students slack off when it comes to the point of teaching them what they really need to know. An example would be leaving the students to work on their own on a project or report that the teacher has not even discussed nor do they shine an approachable atmosphere to the confused students. It is unfair and definitely against the causes of humanitarian organizations to pay such money to institutions only to let their child sit and play dumb. We need  a standard of education and a standard of excellent teachers. We need a group of dedicated people who understand the struggles of teaching but will not stand on the sidelines and watch as the students lose their IQ instead of growing it.

I am an advocate of education, Mr. Secretary-General. I have made this clear when I was in Paris last 2008 for the International Year of Planet Earth. I underscored the fact that only few of the people who live by the sea and throw their trash on the water are educated enough to know the consequences of their actions. I am therefore very much disappointed to know that nothing has changed. The environment, though efforts have been made public, is still suffering. The curriculum of schools are still the same. The people who have a higher need to know what's going on still don't know. What has happened? Why are we still like this?

Apathy. It is a dangerous throne to be comfortable in. It lets us loosen our grip on reality, on the things that we can do to make a difference.

Homeless children. The result of apathy in education and apathy in love of others has given us more problems that we dare to admit. It is a sad thing to watch as children make the best of what they have, trying to be comfortable in makeshift beds and a piece of cloth as a blanket as they sleep their night on the sidewalk.

Lack of education. I should have rephrased that into a lack of quality education. There are more bad effects in this if we don't do anything about it now. Imagine a world where the generation living is a generation who do not know what good teaching is. It would be catastrophic. It would be depressing.

Mr. Secretary-General, I submit to you my recommendation: concentrate of education and the rest will fall into place. Everyone will work together when they finally understand that each of our responsibilities are there to be made excellent and to make a life worth living.

Thank you for your time and I hope you read this in 30 seconds.

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