The Power of Choice

I am sitting in a cabin in the Rocky Mountains and when I look to the right the clouds are sitting on the mountains and it looks like a storm is rolling in. When I look to the left the sky is blue and sun is shining on the mountain tops. I like the look of the dreary mountains – and enjoy sitting warm and cozy in this place. But, the sunny side lifts my spirits and reminds me that I’ve got a whole day ahead of me to snowshoe, read, write and enjoy myself.

sunny view dreary view I think we all have the opportunity to choose – to enjoy the day and be grateful for the people that surround us or to wallow in the ‘what if’s’ and ‘if only’ and ‘someday.’ If you are like me you probably know that someday is here right now. It’s not down the road or around the corner – it’s the roof over your head, the clean water flowing from the tap and the ability to see blue skies. It’s a pillow under my head, socks in my drawers and mittens on my hands.

I read a book titled, Me to We by Craig and Marc Kielburger. This book, written by brothers offers us stories of people who looked at a situation and decided to get involved. Whether the situations were child slavery, poverty, abuse or so many others… the writers urged us to act, not just nod our heads. As young children, these brothers saw a reason to make a difference. In doing so, organizations were created, school mates were involved and a difference was made to children living in slavery.

Years ago, I was at a seminar and visited a table filled with books for sale. The book called The Trouble with the Alphabet by Caryn West. While I was standing there reading, I was crying at the stories. They were so real, so painful and so needy that I didn’t know where to turn. Here is an excerpt from the website page:

The Trouble with the Alphabet is unique and powerful. The book illuminates the world’s injustice in a compelling and unforgettable manner. It invites the reader to consider these issues through vibrant portraits illustrating the emotion and vulnerability of each child. It challenges indifference and apathy through poetic messages delivered as if through a child’s eyes; messages that cut through the rhetoric and pierce the heart and soul. It clarifies the issues through short essays that enlighten even the informed. Finally, it involved experts, organizations that provide answers, strategies and at the very least a platform to become a giver, a doer… an activist.

The book highlights 26 different countries, one for each letter of the alphabet. The
countries selected represent the wide range of human rights abuses and injustices that plague the world and prey on the smallest and youngest in society – the children.

Each chapter closes with a respected non-governmental organization working in that
country to provide every reader an opportunity to move from apathy to activism… one reader at a time.

I asked the author how does one help?. Each page described something inhumane, painful or abusive. I asked, where did you start if you wanted to help. The reply was this – Stop Human Trafficking. That will help stop the other pain and injustice.

The lead article in the paper today was about Human Trafficking in Fort Collins, CO. An organization was in the process of building a house where victims can turn for help, phone numbers were included, help is available. So, the next step is education – it’s the greatest weapon to give a child.

I’ve realized that articles, books, people and movements cross my path at the right time. To read a book (Me to We) then to read the morning paper goes hand in hand. What comes next? How can I help? It starts with one person who decides to act.

If you read these books, please tell me what you think… especially The Trouble with the Alphabet. It’s powerful beyond belief!


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