My assignment for class this week is to write a 600-word summary of this book detailing specific risk and protective factors. It should be a simple assignment and I've just been putting it off. Thankfully, it was a quick read and interesting.
When I first began reading it I told Matt, "These kids say 'If I grow up...' instead of 'When I grow up...' and that's so sad! Privileged children don't say that." He responded with, "I don't think growing up should be classified as a privilege."
That is so true. Sure, the children in this book are not battling starvation and with all things considered they don't have the worst life imaginable, even in America. But it is far less of a childhood than they deserve. They shouldn't have to worry about growing up. They shouldn't hide in fear of stray bullets. They shouldn't have poor education so there's really not much hope of moving ahead in life.
Yes, theirs is a community that doesn't do itself many favors. The lifestyle is pretty cyclical and if someone doesn't step in to make a change, then it will continue. Unfortunately, the people blessed enough to make a lasting change or monetarial change don't step up. Yes, some of the problem comes back to money. The root of all evil, always.
A lot has to do with hope also. Hope changes everything. Hope is one of the cornerstones of the Christian faith. Unfortunately, how many in Pharoah and Laferyette's neighborhood have heard of Jesus, truly? Then, those that have heard, how many have taken it seriously? How many have been confronted numerous times in an attempt to remove doubts that any sane person would have when first hearing the gospel?
The world is without Hope. What is there to Hope for in the world?
It is our call to spread the Hope to those around us. I am glad that the reporter who wrote the book stating in the Epilogue that even though he was supposed to remain removed from the situation, he used proceeds from the books and funding from prizes he won to send the boys to private school. He also would assist the family with minor things while he spent time with them for the book, such as assisting with errands and buying shoes or jeans when needed. These children are not meerkats getting raided by a rogue band and having babies eaten (Yes, I get upset about Meerkat Manor too sometimes). These are human children. It would be in-human not to care for them after spending so much time with them. I am thankful that this reporter had a heart and is still investing a part of himself in these children. Hopefully this will provide the children with a hope for their futures.
Hope is a horrible thing to lose