Everyday, I make some time to check the BBC News' Day in Pictures to get a literal picture of what's going on the world. BBC is very good about having balanced sources - they usually have one picture from each area of the world.
Today, there was one particularly striking image that I felt the need to share with you. It is a brickmaker in Pakistan, working and making bricks like the rest of his family. The catch? He's probably only about 8 years old.
This small child is spending his childhood making bricks with his bare hands. When I was his age, I was begging for more allowance, complaining that my brother always got a chance to do things and I didn't, and climbing trees. The thought of work was at least ten years off, and even at 8, I knew that if I played my cards right, I'd be able to enjoy what I did. I think at that point I really wanted to be a writer (not kidding).
I wonder what this child thought he'd be. I wonder what sorts of dreams and thoughts go through his head as he does work that would be monotonous and hard for adults. I wonder what life he would want if he had the opportunity.
It is because of the chance of making a difference in a life like this that I am learning how to love my neighbor. I want to be able to provide children like this young boy with a future that actually has hope, one that won't consist of joining their family in the factory, one that would allow them to run and play and be kids again.
Consider it: Would you want your kid to go through these same things? Then why willingly participate in a system that allows such things to develop? I am a heavily fair trade proponent for this very reason. We must be willing to make a change in our daily lives if we want to live out the second greatest commandment - Love Your Neighbor.
I believe I may have posted this before, but it deserves a re-post.