Damn, I’m lucky.
I’m awake way too early, with less than 4 hours’ sleep because my knee hurts like hell; I’d take more Percocet but it makes me itch like a mother$%@#%; I feel the edge of a migraine coming on from lack of sleep; my butt is sore from days on end of sitting on beds and sofas with my leg in the CPM; and now I can’t get comfortable to save my life.
Plus did I mention my knee hurts like hell?
But damn, I’m lucky.
Everything, as they say, is relative. My temporary discomfort (and uncomfortable as it is right now, it is temporary) is framed by a life of incredible privilege and opportunity.
I grew up in a wealthy part of the world, in a home where I never wanted for food or clothing. Where it was assumed I’d not only graduate from high school but of course I would go to college (and this would be funded). (And I did not have to go on a hunger strike to make this happen.)
Where the trajectory of my life was dictated largely by my own choices.
Where I had choices.
I got to choose when (and if) I got married. And to whom. I got to choose when (and if) I would have children. And how many.
Not all girls have it so good. Like Kidan, who will never realize her dream of going to school and becoming a doctor.
Like Addis, who desperately wanted to go to school, but was married off at age 11 to a husband who refused to let her attend (even though there was a school right near their house).
The stories break your heart.
I wish all girls had the choices I was blessed with. The reality, though, is that when a girl turns 12 and lives in poverty, her future is out of her control.
I could quote you statistics, but this very short video from The Girl Effect does a much better job of illustrating the situation than any numbers I might spew. I encourage you to take a moment and watch it right now.
Did you get through that without crying? I didn’t.
$60 to buy a cow, or $37 to start a hair salon (yes, literally) will dramatically improve not just a girl’s life, but the lives and future of her entire family and her entire village.
As one of the Girl Effect videos says,
This is the power of the Girl Effect. An effect that starts with a 12-year old girl, and impacts the world.
Today is Universal Children’s Day. What better way to mark the occasion than to make one small step toward improving the life of a girl.
So here’s something weird and delightful: Tara was a ketubah client of mine about 4 years ago. Just yesterday she noticed my name on a comment I’d made some time ago on Hiro Boga’s blog. Wondering if this was the same Melissa Dinwiddie who’d made her ketubah (how many of us are there? actually, a few), she clicked through to my site and sent me a hello.
How cool to discover that Tara is now blogging about personal growth, writing for the Huffington Post and doing coaching work. Check out her beautiful site at www.taramohr.com. And watch for a feature spot on Tara on 365 Days of Genius (launching in January) in 2011.
This is why I love the internet.