It seems an all too familiar story. Young people leave school looking for a job, because that is what society tells them they must do, and their peers, are constantly nagging them to have the latest this or that, which of course means getting into the rat race of life, where few ever escape, or even realise there is a world outside their town and monotony.
Imagine my surprise then, when completely by chance I found the blog of a young American woman, that caught my attention. And Audrey clearly is not one of these people, pressured by their society to follow the desires, dreams and life goals of the more traditional adolescent. Now I've never met Audrey, or spoken to her, but this story has touched me with it's intensity. Instantly I became transfixed with the images before me, as I stared aghast at the terrible health conditions of some of these children and adults. Sufferers of Leprosy living in one of the poorest countries on the planet, and with only meagre provisions available to them, for relief from these prolific ailments. Her accounts are both harrowing and funny, as she details the humour and acceptance of these people who make life so very rich, despite having very little in the way of material things, and even less by way of full use of their limbs. Almost completely forgotten by their own countrymen, they accept the help and support of the aid workers doctors and medical staff, but always seem to have something that they too can share, even though they barely survive. And we are not talking not had three decent square meals here, or missed out on a M'D's for lunch, we are talking abstract. They don't have much to smile about, but from what I read, they smile more than most of us, and are so very positive and thankful for the morsels they receive.
Even now I am finding it hard to accept that in the 21st century people are still being so poorly cared for by their governments and aid from foreign ones. Yes, I know all about the corruption of those governments, and how we the caring sensitive givers to charity, sit back whilst our money gets spent on bribes to get even a fraction of this aid to it's intended target, feeling powerless to do more to abolish this greed and theft. I'm not about to get into a rant, (I'll save it for a rainy day) sufficed as to say that guess who is making the impact on this subject. Mostly young people.!!!
Yes of course there are many wonderful older folk too, I'm not forgetting them here, just wishing to acknowledge the effort of one truly amazing young woman, for trying to make a difference.
I've seen her quote some very influential people on her blog. None more relevant than Gandhi himself. As you may know he, was renowned for more than just his ability to reach peoples heart with his words. He put into practice that dedication, and never forgot who he should be. Maybe one of his most famous quotes would be this one. 'Be the change you wish to see in the world'.
I definitely believe that he would have been proud to have known Audrey Bergeson, (as would I be) and thank her for caring so much, for poor souls the rest of us have deserted. Maybe you're right, I felt some of you tense at this, deserted is too strong a word. What about abandoned? Or maybe conceded? Conceded to the reality that most of us want our life, even if they have to suffer like this for our lifestyle to be untouched. I know that no decent person would say that, and that most of us are appalled by this dereliction of our duty, even if it is through naiveity rather than actual choice. Audrey to me, personifies someone who doesn't just preach (not aimed at any religious conviction) but practices what she preaches. Does something incredibly selfless with her talents and her abilities. Someone 'Being', the change she wishes to see in the world. I am in awe of her determination to make a difference, she is my heroine! And I will continue to be a supporter of her dreams, to show this humanity to its utmost.
Too many older people talk about youths like they are scum or vermin. 'We fought wars for you scroungers', some say. And that is ultimately true, they did fight. But what kind of a world emerged from the pyres of those conflicts? Little by little society has become more self serving, most young people have nothing to do and nowhere to do it, unless a few parents are willing to put some time into their education, welfare and initiate realistic goals that they could achieve. And many are believing that what their kids want are x-boxes and clothes (material things, which grown ups say are important to be a somebody) instead of their time, which costs very little.
What are young people supposed to read into this? No-one cares so I won't either....?
It would appear that Audrey had a loving family background, and was encouraged to give something back, to share her talents with others, and boy does she do that!!
If what she says on her blog were even only half the truth, then those people who's lives have been touched by hers are truly grateful, and happy to be known by her. Well done to you Audrey, and all those helping in like fashion. And I pray that many more young people will keep up the good work, for the harvest will be great.
Please take some time to read her stories, and let the need for us to take courage from them, open our hearts to do more. Let us all, 'Be the change'. For we shall have known the grace of love in this pursuit. And, the world will be just that one step closer to happiness!!!