I’m angry, really angry. Anyone that knows me well knows that once I get a bee in my bonnet I cannot let it go. Now the news regarding free school meals for children angered me, really angered me. I work in a school with some children from under privileged backgrounds and I see the daily struggle they go through. A child cannot learn and better themselves if they are hungry, they simply cannot. When something like this gets under my skin I have to do something, so I have but it just doesn’t feel enough.
My heart was filled with love over recent days as I saw local business pull together and provide meals and donations to the local food bank. My friends and I have pulled together and today my weighed down car boot was filled to the brim with donations to take and with pride I handed over the tins, pasta, rice, longlife milk, biscuits, toiletries, sanitary products and whatever else we’ve gathered. But it’s just a drop in the ocean isn’t it? Many of my local supermarkets have a collection box and I drop items in during my usual shop to do my bit and I’m certainly going to do it more often. But it still doesn’t seem much does it?
I’ve also written to my local MP, but he’s already very publicly displayed his opinion after his comments to a 16 year old girl who clearly feels the same way as me were displayed on the world wide web so I’m unsure of what effect it will have. Who knows though, maybe my words may have impact, I certainly felt better sharing them and letting him know how I felt and also my suggestions for making the situation better which actually goes beyond some meal provision. Again though it just seems a drop in the ocean doesn’t it?
The thing is, I’m more writing this post because I see yet again another change in me. I remember getting upset on my first trip to India with Poppa M. I saw so much poverty, so much and it was a real eye opener, a great but challenging experience. We both talked about the issues in the economy of India, the class system and how the divide between rich and poor was so vast. Now, the trip to India was a big deal, for lots of reasons, including meeting a lot of my Indian family for the first time, but more so for the impact it had on my relationship with my Dad. Me and Poppa M were so close when I was toddler P’s age, I was a Daddy’s girl and he was my hero but for many reasons this faded as I got older and then particularly around the years leading up to and just after he and my mum split, I really didn’t like him. We didn’t get on, things became very very strained and I really had issue with a lot of my Dad’s life choices. India built some bridges and changed a lot of that, it set us on a better path and laid some demons to rest. So sitting and talking to him about putting the world (or poverty in India) to rights was a big thing. It also set me off on a path of wanting to help people, I mean really help, in a big way. It sparked something in me. I’ll never forget his words though, “oh come on L, you can’t change the world!” to which I replied, “no I can’t, but I can try” then to be brutally honest, I went off and did bugger all apart from some Oxfam donations, sponsored events etc. Nothing of any great impact and sort of proved him right.
I’m a lot older, wiser and different now though. I’ve experienced true adversity myself, ok not financially but emotionally I’ve had to overcome some of the most challenging and frightening things I thought I’d ever have to do. The fact is, if I can overcome them and come out smiling then I can pretty much face anything. Mum’s always told me I have more strength than I realise and now I’m finally seeing it, it’s stronger than just looking after me and bringing my daughter up well. I’m getting some serious fire in my tummy about making bigger differences. There’s a lot to be said for helping others isn’t there? There’s a lot to be said for getting passionate about something and wanting to make a difference, because the fact is, you never know when it’s going to be you. I never planned having to face some of the challenges I’ve faced and whilst I cannot change the behaviour and actions of others, I can try positively influence them. I can contribute to making things easier, helping and supporting in whatever ways I can. I guess this burning desire I have though is growing, it’s sometimes feeling like I’m not doing enough. What more can I do though? I don’t know yet, but notice the word yet, I’m looking, I’m finding out and I’m listening.
I guess I just feel like Just watch me is growing and going a step further, my growth and confidence isn’t just about me anymore. It’s about how my passion, confidence and determination for things has grown beyond what I was striving to get back. It’s about how I’m developing things in my life that go beyond words, changes to my life and a few inspirational moments, to now being about making some real change. Like I’ve said before, no one made a difference by staying quiet, I want to go beyond just saying things, I want my actions to match my words. I want to be remembered for the way I made people feel.
So no Pops, I can’t change the world but I can try and improve my little world.