I read this article: D.I.Y. Foreign-Aid Revolution while on the elliptical yesterday at the gym. My parents left the New York Times Magazine edition on a dresser in our bedroom while we were visiting them a few months ago. They definitely know what "gets to me."
The stories are moving and inspiring. Stories of women (and men) giving literally everything they have to improve the lives of women and children around the globe.
Sometimes it is hard for me to read stories like these and not feel a sense of desperation, urgency, and frustration inside. I want to go to these places. I want to help find solutions. I want to do something.
It is in those moments that I have to remind myself that I am involved in the most important work that I will ever do. I think of my children and how much I love them. I think of how they run down our street after getting off the school bus, give me big hugs and smiles, and immediately begin rattling off stories of classmate romances, school bus bullying, classroom disciplining, or what they liked in their lunches. I wouldn't trade those moments for anything.
But, when they are a bit older, maybe 13 and 11, then we will see. Then they will be old enough to join me while venturing to these places, to discover problems and concoct solutions. I loved the simple ideas presented in Kristof's article. (I seem to be putting a lot of links to his articles on my blog. I guess I am drawn to his honesty and simplicity, and his presentation of real though overlooked problems in the world.)