Lightbulb moment

27 09 2011

I’ve just had a bit of a eureka moment – at least I hope that’s what it will turn out to be.

I was flicking through blogs, having recently found this one: http://libertonheadsblog.blogspot.com/ (as recommended by Ollie Bray years ago; I was looking at his SQH blog posts) and again a couple of years ago the author Dj MacDonald had linked to a video on You Tube as recommended by Ewan McIntosh about children copying what adults do.  That was interesting and well done but of course then I started looking at other commercials etc and saw an upsetting picture of a child.  I couldn’t even bear to watch the video – one image is more than enough to set me off but it got me thinking!

Just yesterday I had, for some random reason, being wondering if there was anything I would regret I didn’t get the chance to do before I died.  Previously I have always been quite insular in what I have thought, usually did I get to travel to and explore all the places in the world I wanted to, did I climb enough mountains, run enough races etc.  I was thinking yesterday would I regret if I never got a faster marathon faster time, never qualified for Boston, never got a sub-24 hour west highland way race time (bit of a pattern here), didn’t do everything in my career I wanted to and would I regret it if I didn’t have kids.

Then I saw this picture tonight and realised what I believe and hope I would certainly regret when I died if I didn’t do it and that is to at least keep trying to make a difference in the lives of some kids that don’t have the same opportunities and life chances as most of the children I know. 

As we talked in my first SQH day last month about what our values in education are and what our vision is someone commented that I was looking for utopia and I suppose that probably is what I want – something that seems so unobtainable and impossible that it is not even worth trying.  And yet we have to keep hoping and trying that we can make a difference.

I quite firmly believe that doling out charity is not the way to solve this issue long term, although I do want to do some more research to find out which charities are most beneficial to support and of course in the case of the current crisis in the Horn of Africa immediate aid is needed to ensure people’s survival.

One way I hope I am making a tiny difference is with the link school in Malawi, both the one that has been going for 3 years and the one I am hoping to set up when I go out again next week.  That has been about developing learning and teaching and management skills in Malawi and the friendship and partnership between both schools.  However it has also been about raising awareness here and developing my pupils knowledge and understanding of other cultures and sense of equality. 

I have tried, and will especially try to do with this new link, not make it about northern school giving money/resources to the southern school but about sharing a frienship and learning from each other.  What I really think we have to do is educate our pupils in how to bring about change both in their envrionment and at a higher level. 

I cited Cummins (1996) in my essay for this SQH unit who said there was a need to educate for global citizenship; to treat people equally and enforce the redistribution of wealth.

That last bit about enforcing the redistribution of wealth is the hardest part I think, and I don’t have much idea about how to go about this but my lightbulb moment is I’ll regret it if I don’t keep trying!  The inequality in the world and the unfair distribution of wealth is the one thing that makes me really angry….and I know I’m as bad as anyone else, I like my holidays and books and clothes but I’m going to think about that too – how I spend my money and do I need to!

This post ended up longer than I meant it to and is possibly the most personal post I have ever written on here but I thought even if I am the only one who reads it it was important to write it.  Now the hard part – to actually do something about it!

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2 responses

27 09 2011
Silke

What an interesting and – yes – personal post. But I am with you on a lot of your thoughts there. I think you have already made a big difference in Malawi and here by raising awareness in adults and children alike. And I agree, it is about sharing lifes for a while, experiences, learning from each other – that applies to any medical charity too. It is easier for others to say it is utopia, at least then there is “no need” for trying.
All the best for your Malawi trip. Be safe and see you soon.
P.S. There is a great UK based charity called Hope and Homes for children.They work in Africa but also Eastern Europe. Very worthy cause I think. Have a look at their website. Silke

27 09 2011
Shelley

Great thoughts – getting the balance right in life is a permanent challenge and one I find is not easy to keep reviewing without feeling overwhelmed at times. The tiny pebble in the pool ripples way beyond its initial impact though so we can never know just what diference one small positive creative action may bring to bear.

It is challenging to know which charities to support sometimes it is linked to discovering how much of what is given actually reaches where it is intended and how much goes on administration.

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