cambodia’s children

the streetchildren of cambodia will break your heart. a naked toddler plays with a dirty garbage bag in the middle of the street. children barely old enough to walk work the tourist spots for money with their plaintive “dollar?” and sad smiles. young girls who should be in school act as surrogate mothers for the littlest little ones, herding them out of traffic, taking charge where there is no one else to keep them safe.

tiny dirty faces, unclothed bodies, outstretched hands.

how can i say no? how can i not? my dollar does not have the power to make a measurable difference in their lives. and there are so many of them. so goddamn many. it hurts.

these are the children you see in the charity commercials. the ones with distended bellies and deadened eyes. the ones who will one day sell their souls and their bodies to sick opportunists. the ones who have no education, no food and no hope. these gorgeous little brown faces and brown eyes are the horrifying face of poverty.

they are cambodia’s future.

One Response to “cambodia’s children”

  1. daddio
    July 1st, 2006 10:26

    you have been of offered a blessing at the small shrine. today you understand how you have always been blessed.

    this afternoon i met george. george is the son of a cambodian immigrant and he is probably 14 or 15. we are going to build a boat together this summer, along with some of his friends from southie. his mother bearly escaped cambodia but not all his family did. those that didn’t, died.

    where you were born, who are your parents, what life do they live determines who you become, how rich, how educated, how free, how empowered or how impovished. yet, i am always amazed how, as your buddist man has show, compassion has the ability to be free of those bonds which determine how blessed we are in life.


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