Human Word

January 31, 2009

I often look around me and am reminded of a time period long, long ago. Not in my lifetime! I am talking LONG, long ago! I have only read about it. I am speaking about the time preceding Jesus’ visit to Earth. From what I read and hear, it was a pretty hectic time to be living! It seems that religion was intertwined with government and law, and the religious leaders of the time were pretty, pretty oppressive! I have even read in history books where the religious leaders created laws upon laws. I once read about a bylaw that was created that branched off of the “honor the Sabbath and keep it holy” law.

No one was allowed to do any form of work, or anything that even slightly resembled it! Apparently, the religious leaders went to great lengths to define all different forms of “work”, and made all different types of laws forbidding these actions. The specific bylaw I read about was that it was illegal to spit on the Sabbath. Ok, at first glance this doesn’t seem all that bad! I mean, spitting is a nasty habit, though I do it myself, and so it wouldn’t be so terrible to live in a place where no one was allowed to spit in public. But the reason for the law had nothing to do with manners, or sanitation. The reason for the “no spitting on the Sabbath” law was because a person was not allowed to work on the Sabbath, and spitting was seen as a form of “watering the soil”, which would in turn be cultivating crops, and you were most definitely not allowed to do that on the Sabbath. So…no spitting!

It is sad for me to read about the lengths the religious leaders went to in order to create and enforce these laws…laws based on the “word of God”. People were literally living in bondage, under the oppression of the religious leaders, by the authority of the “word of God”. I can only imagine how this must have irritated God! And we all know His response:

“The Word became flesh and blood, and moved into the neighborhood. We saw the glory with our own eyes, the one-of-a-kind glory, like Father, like Son, generous inside and out, true from start to finish.” (John 1:14 – The Message)

God’s word was being misused. He was being misquoted and misrepresented. So His words had to literally become flesh; a living, walking, breathing, burping, farting, eating, sleeping, talking version of the Word. And Word, or maybe I should call Him by his other name… Jesus walked around, dwelt amongst us, and lived a life of total surrender to God the Father, but in total activism and rebellion to the oppression the religious leaders had people living under. He came to break the chains of bondage and set people free from the shackles of the law. The majority of his actions and lifestyle choices were completely and utterly in opposition to the strict oppressive ways of the religious leaders; so much that they ended up killing Him for it, because they were waiting for a different kind of “Messiah”.

Jesus loved the people that were discarded by society; the losers, the prostitutes, the thieves, the back stabbers, the hurting, the stinky, the deformed, the sick, the poor, the psychos, and the generally messed up. Every action was guided by an intense love for people, and not by “religion” or tradition. He picked wheat on the Sabbath in order to feed His disciples and got reprimanded for it. He stood up for a woman that had in fact broken the law against adultery. He trashed the temple because people were using it as a money making scheme and not for its original purpose. He did these things to show that the word of God was not meant to bind people up and enslave them. He was the Word, walking and living amongst them. And He was driven by love, not law. And He loved people. And people loved Him!

So, when I look around today I often see similarities to that time period. I don’t want to come off as too cynical and judgmental, making huge generalizations, but when I look around me I see several things. I see a bunch of hurting, needy people that don’t need more oppression and condemnation in their lives. Along with that, unfortunately, I often see the “Christian” response to those people is tradition, religion, laws, and programs with anterior motives. Like I said, I don’t want to generalize and I am not saying that this is the only thing I see! But what I do know is that love speaks all languages, is not conditional, is liberating, is not judgmental, is not oppressive, and it knows no bounds. I know that we also have the opportunity to be living, walking, breathing Word, and our actions will speak louder, and resound far more, than our actual words…no matter what our words may be. We have to stop talking so much talk and just walk for a while!


Day 66: 29 January – CHANGE

January 29, 2009

Ok, i want to start off by saying i do not intend for this blog to have any political affiliations or ties. However there is a unavoidable relationship between politics, governments and activism. That means sometimes it is difficult to avoid a “political” conversation. So let me just say that any political views, opinions, or statements are my own and are not necessarily those of the other authors of 365 Days of Activism. Now that that is out of the way…

I have been thinking a great deal lately about change. I must say that i am thrilled that Obama is now the president of the United States. I think Obama being elected president is one of those milestones that my generation will be know for. Over the election campaigns the word “change” was cleverly linked with Obama. He is in fact “change” in many ways, shapes and forms and I do feel that he represents the “change we need”. I really believe in him as a leader and i have alot of faith in him! What i do not believe is that he is some magical being that will take away our problems, make everything “ok”, and bring happiness to America and the rest of the world. Though he may be a representative of change, and even a powerful catalyst, he himself will not solely be or bring the change we need. I watched a documentary called “Barack Obama: People’s President” on Tuesday night and as much as i enjoyed it there was one specific part that stood out to me. Several young voters were being asked about Obama, and one of his young female supporters said something along the lines of, “We cannot sit around and wait for Obama or the government to bring the change we need. We are responsible to bring that change ourselves.” This statement hit the nail on the head for me! As much as Obama is a representative of change WE as the people are responsible to bring mass change, and push for him and the government to stand by the change that they have promised. I think that true change comes when average people make small intentional decisions to bring change in their day to day life; this could be smiling at a stranger, donating to a charity, helping someone who is broke down on the side of the road, adopting a child, or as simple as switching off the lights when you are not using them.

I have noticed that certain people are already putting enormous amounts of pressure on Obama. He has been president for a little over a week and i hear people say things like, “Obama has been president for a week and gas prices are still going up.” I find this hilarious and frustrating. Whether a person is an Obama supporter or totally against him, we cannot afford to put too much responsibility on him. We have to trust him as a leader to have the best intentions of his country in mind, and trust him to do the things he says, but we also cannot be unrealistic (whether we are for or against him) and expect things to just magically change. We have to be agents of that change.

So since i am already writing a political post i just want to speak briefly about the South African political climate. They are labelling this up coming election as “the most important election since 1994”, and i believe it very well could be. I want to challenge all South Africans, and especially the young voters, to get out and register if you are not, and vote! Your last chance to register is the 7th & 8th of February. American just saw a record number of young voters, and groups of people that have never traditionally voted, come to the polls and vote. South Africans can follow this example, educate themselves about the candidates, and make an informed vote. Because whether we like it or not, the government lays the structure of the system in which we are fighting for change. But no matter the outcome of the South African election, and no matter what happens with Obama in America, you can count on the fact that i will do everything in my power to see much needed change brought to the lives and communities of people around me. I hope you will commit to do the same!

Day 65: 28 January – Did Freud Mention the Defense Mechanism of “RUN”?

January 28, 2009

Suppression, Repression, Narcissism, Humor, Regression, Denial, Projection, Distortion, Passive Aggression, Acting Out, Displacement, Dissociation, Intellectualization, Isolation…to name a few. We all adapt to our environments by developing these wonderful defenses! I say wonderful sarcastically because though these tools are subconsciously (usually) created to protect us from unwanted feelings or emotions, they often end up hurting us further.. Defense mechanisms are not all bad. When used healthily, and to the proper degree, they can be quite helpful. I know Humor, Suppression, and Intellectualization helped me through many tough years! Then again everything cannot be joked or laughed off, suppressed (or repressed if one is acting in an immature defense) emotions and feelings make their way up to the surface at some point or another, and some things just plain don’t make sense no matter how you look at it!

There is one Defense Mechanism that I commonly see with the children living on the streets that Freud failed to mention: RUNNING! Sure, there are certain Defense Mechanisms that come into play when a child, or adult for that matter, decides to run from a situation, but Freud did not specifically define the act of literally running from a problem (or at least, not that I know of). Running, however, is a well polished Defense Mechanism that these children know so well. I have seen it over and over again. It usually starts at home with a problem, series of problems, or an environment of continuous, ongoing pain and hurt. The child cannot cope and eventually runs from that reality to escape it. Insert a little Suppression of the previous hurt experienced, and the pain of leaving certain loved ones behind, a bit of Projection not wanting to take credit for certain aspects that may be his or her fault, and maybe even a sprinkle of Acting Out.

The child will find his or her way to the streets, or an organization, or maybe other family members in another community, but unfortunately the “system” is built around this Defense Mechanism that the child has now discovered. Most organizations (apart from Places of Safety and Juvenile Reformatories) have an “open door policy”, meaning the child can run away any time they feel. This is obviously not encouraged, but one could argue as long as the child knows it’s an option, we are basically giving him or her permission to do so. This makes it easy for the child to run whenever a problem occurs. For instance, little Johnny might run away from home because he got in trouble at school. He then finds his way to town and joins a group of kids that come from similar backgrounds. Johnny lives with them until one day he steals from one of the kids in the group. Instead of confronting the problem he may run back home, or not seeing that as an option may run to another group in another part of town.

Unfortunately, the problems never disappear. They are still there waiting for Johnny, or whoever, but it is Johnny that is in a different place where those problems do not exist. Today I bumped into Julian, who is a perfect example of this. I met up with him about two years ago on the streets when he had run from the shelter he had been staying in. I worked with him for a while and got him back home staying with his family. Eventually he was not coping in that environment and ended up running away again. Back to the shelter he had run from before I met with him at that time. I saw him at the shelter a couple of weeks back and he seemed happy. So today I bumped into him and he told me he had run away from the shelter on Sunday because he had gotten in a fight with another boy. He is back on the streets. That is, he is back on the streets until something happens that will cause him to run to the next place.

Julian is still young, but he is getting older. The most unfortunate thing about a lifestyle “on the run” is that, as I said earlier, problems do not disappear and they only end up piling up all over the place. The older the child gets in this “life on the run”, the more bridges he or she burns, and the more unresolved problems he or she faces in the world, and the more difficult it is for them to ever settle down and realize that life is full of problems and the only way to get rid of them is to face them head on. I do not think it is a mere coincidence that in our society where we have so many children running from their problems, and a system that supports that decision, that we would also have such a high rate of “fatherless” children. Because these children that learn to run from their problems grow up, get girls pregnant, and act in the defense they know best: RUN!

Day 61: 24 January – Tattooed in Our Minds and Hearts

January 24, 2009
I have been fairly “quiet” for a while. My “online silence” does not, however, reflect the business I have found myself in over the past two weeks or so; I have been very busy with follow up meetings and plans from my 16 days on the streets, because my 16 days were followed by the time of the year where everything on this side of the world kind of slows down, and even stops, for the holidays. Things are moving again. The conversation as to “what to do with the hardened kids” in town needs to continue, and action needs to follow, but as that dialogue continues I am aware of how easy it is to become overwhelmed by the “problem”.

I started this conversation on here for several reasons. I felt it was important to highlight the complexity of the situation. As the conversation continues it becomes more and more obvious that most avenues have been attempted for these specific children at one time or another, that something drastic needs to happen, but that we also are not quite sure what exactly that “something” is. I can see a true concern for these children along with a frustration in not knowing what to do in many comments people have made in this discussion. I know how easy it is to become overwhelmed by the size of the problem when we focus on it, and especially when “solutions” seem to be far and wide. Yesterday I was reminded again of a powerful tool for change.

I went to the Southern Ink Exposure Tattoo Convention last night. Wildfire Tattoo , where I get my work done, is hosting the event and it is the first Tattoo Convention of this caliber to be held on African soil. There are artists from all over the world. It is truly an amazing experience and I would recommend anybody, whether you like tattoos or not, to try and make it out to the convention! Anyways, I had a couple of conversations at the convention that were very important reminders for me. The first conversation was with Tyler Murphy. Tyler used to work at Wildfire but has recently gone out on his own and opened his own studio, Sins of Style . He excitedly greeted me last night when I saw him.

The last time I saw Tyler was smack dab in the middle of my 16 days on the streets. I was walking around one early morning, waiting for Crippie to open. I remember that morning because I did not have enough money to buy a cup of coffee, vital for my “wakeup routine”, AND soup so I was just walking around like a zombie and hoping for a caffeine intervention. Just when I thought my cause to get coffee was impossible I bumped into Tyler sitting outside a little café on Long Street. I stopped and chatted. He told me about his new tattoo studio he had just opened, and because of the “state” I was in (unkept, dirty, smelly, hairy face, etc.) the topic of my time on the streets arose naturally. Without me having to ask, or express my desperation for coffee, he offered to buy me some. Sigh of relief. We then sat and chatted over coffee and talked in great depths about my time on the streets, the reason I was doing it, and the current situation of children on the streets. He was a great audience!

So last night when I bumped into him he excitedly asked me how the rest of my time on the streets went and how I had adjusted back to “normal” life. Then he said, “You don’t know how much that conversation that we had impacted me that day! I couldn’t get it out of my mind! I have continued our conversation with so many people. You would not believe how many people I have talked to about it! You really achieved what you were trying by starting conversations!”. Tyler simply reminded me of one really important “solution”: awareness. People cannot make a difference in something they don’t know, or don’t care, about but by simply starting conversations, and feeding important information to people, we are educating them of the problem, and laying down a foundation of awareness to build real and lasting change. For Tyler, our conversation seemed to be tattooed on his mind and heart and he will not soon forget it.

I also had a conversation with a group of artists from Kansas City. We had the normal back and forth about where we are from in the States, and then they were asking what I was doing here and for how long. When they heard I work with the kids in town the one girl brokenheartedly spoke about one of the younger kids that they bumped into on Long Street. I knew who he was based on her description. I expected to hear the typical “foreigner response” about the “cute little kid” that she gave a bunch of money to, but it was nothing like that. She said she could see he was hyped up on drugs and her heart broke for him. She said she felt like “picking him up, taking him away from that reality and taking care of him”; her sentiments coming very close to some of the “solutions” that we have come to in the discussion about these kids. She felt it was wrong to allow a child to be in that place, and that a child addict should not be treated as an adult and something had to happen before he literally kills himself in his cycle of self destruction. I could see that the image of his face was tattooed on her mind and heart!

These conversations were refreshing for me! They did not bear fruit of amazing solutions to the problem we face, but they were a reminder of one simple thing: we cannot be overwhelmed by the “problem” and have to focus on simple, achievable “solutions” for these kids. And as we continue to seek long term, sustainable and permanent solutions for them, I am reminded that one very simple, doable solution is to merely continue with conversations. Because these informed conversations lead to an awareness. Information is power. And based on this informed awareness of the general public, we are able to build true and lasting change in the greater structure and in the lives of these children. We have to come to a point where a vast majority of society feels strongly that it is wrong to allow children to live on the streets. Once this simple belief is tattooed in the minds and hearts of many, I believe that we will begin to see real and lasting change come!

Day 52: 15 January – How Far is Far Enough?

January 15, 2009

Ok, with this post i would like to get some real conversation going. I want feedback and input from anybody and everybody, but most especially from parents! I sat in, what i felt was, a very productive meeting today with a couple of the key role players in the “street children” sector. To be exact, we sat and talked for almost five hours. Majority of our conversation, and the reason for our meeting was to talk about a small hand full of kids in town that are considered “hardened street kids”. These are children that have pretty much been in and out of every facility, addicted to heavy drugs, totally sucked into street life, and extremely out of control of their lives (because of their drug addiction). Their families know their children need help but don’t know how and feel disempowered. If you caught one of the kids in a rational moment even they themselves would admit they need help, but the addiction has a stronger hold on their lives than ration, reason, programs, family or any other outside force.

So one of the big questions today was “what do we do with these kids?”. It is a small, workable group. But we know that whatever is done will have to be extreme, holistic, and most probably not optional. You see, these children have been allowed to make the choice to go and live on the streets, use heavy drugs, and partake in this destructive behaviour. They were not mature enough to make that decision in the first place, so we can equally not expect them to be mature enough to make the decision to leave this destructive cycle while they are still alive, especially considering the power an addiction can have (specifically crack cocaine) over a grown adult, much less a child! At what point do we as adults intervene, whether the child likes it or not, whether he or she is happy with us or not, for his or her own good. I know my mom would have gone to drastic measures to insure my safety and health, and though i may have been irritated with certain punishments or consequences from my actions, i know that she acted in love and looking back i appreciate it.

So now let’s just put the case of these children aside for a second. i want you to get really personal with this. I want you to imagine that YOUR kids (let’s just say ages anywhere from 12-17) are in this position (if you don’t have kids you will have to take it a step further and imagine you have kids); they are addicted to crack cocaine, their drug addiction has taken them to the streets, grown adults give them money to feed their habits, grown adults sell them the drugs, sometimes grown adults smoke the drugs with them, your child often sells his or her body to get money for the drugs to wrinkly, old men, your child is totally spiralling out of control in a self destructive manner and you are literally watching him or her come closer to death with every day that passes by. Ok, got the mental picture? Now here is where i want your input…

1) Would you care?

2) If so, what extent would you go to to see your child get help?

3) If your child resisted all forms of “help”, knowing that he or she is a minor, would you go to the extent of forcing him or her to go to a treatment facility/healing program against his or her will?

4) How would you feel about the “grown adults” in your child’s life that are enabling his or her addiction? and

5) what would you suggest doing with them?

I would really appreciate your feedback!!

Day 49: 12 January – Change Is Most Definitely Inevitable

January 12, 2009
Today I have been overwhelmed by change; or maybe more the concept of change…wait, let me back up…

In my first year of studies at U.C.T., I had this course called “Text in Context”. I remember having a discussion in one of the first days of class. We were all trying to wrap our heads around this concept of “texts in context”, and the professor seemed to be taking it to the next level of “deepness”. Of course as first year students, eager to impress, we were all trying to show how deep we could also think and express. I am sure we were real impressive. Anyways, I guess the general idea was that contexts can be changed by texts…or was it texts are changed by contexts? Ok, obviously it did not really stick with me, but that doesn’t really matter. The discussion that day in class got me thinking about “contexts” and how we (the texts) change them.

For instance, I thought about the place I would go every Tuesday and Thursday night, at that time, to do boxing training. It was actually a church hall in an old Methodist church. Some nights it was used for boxing, other nights Tai Kwan Do, some days it was used for yoga, Sundays it was used for “children’s church”, and other days it was used for NA meetings. The building didn’t ever change, but the context did depending on who was in it and what they were doing in it. A heroin addict who has been clean for three years knows it as a place of accountability and safety, a little boy knows it as a place where he draws different pictures and plays with clay while his parents are in church, and I know it as a place where I exercised until I worked up disgusting amounts of sweat and punched a punching bag until my knuckles bled. So the building never changed, but depending on what day of the week, the people actually changed the context of the meaning the building has.

Where am I going with this?

Ok, so back to today. I was just overwhelmed with change in all different ways. I had the opportunity to show a couple of American girls around Cape Town a bit today. I got to town early so I went to check my email. I went to the same internet café that I went to every day during my 16 days on the streets. It was really weird. The place was exactly the same. It looked the same. It smelled the same. It was the same temperature. I even sat at the same computer that I usually sat at. Everything was pretty much the same but it felt so different! I had changed. I was not dirty, or self conscious of my smell and worried that the other customers might complain, or desperately needing to make use of the toilet, or craving one of the Cokes that sat in the ice cold refrigerator but not able to buy it. I was showered, didn’t need the toilet, and had just drank a wonderful, expensive latte on the way to town. The place was the same but I had changed, which changed my experience of the place.

I met the two American girls, Blanca and Liz, and we drank some coffee and then went to Crippie. Again, it was the same building that I ate in for 16 days, every single morning. It was the same place that provided a very important meal in my daily schedule. And within it was the same stew that I loved so dear during those 16 days! I remember standing in line and looking at the stew being served to other people in front of me in the line and my mouth would water. So when I walked in today, many of the people excitedly greeted me and said, “Ryan! It’s stew!!”. I hadn’t eaten this morning, but knowing that I could easily obtain a meal elsewhere, the stew did not seem as appetizing as it did during the 16 days. That made me sad! Crippie had not changed, the stew had not changed (except I think they may have added some noodles), but I had…and it was weird!

I took Liz and Blanca around town a bit after that and then we decided to go out and visit Town Two, Khayelitsha (a community that I worked in for a few years). I already felt a bit of guilt in going out there because I had not visited in a LONG time! And of course, when I got there, what was I confronted with but…change. The kids all seemed three feet taller, my favorite spaza shop is going under because the owner is sick, and many of the kids that were in the programs we had running are now standing on the street corners and getting into trouble; one of them was arrested over the holiday season and he was one of our star boxers in our sports program just a few years ago! The community, as in structure, had not changed all that much; a little bit here in there. But the kids had, and I have too. It was kind of eerie. It was really sad to see some of the kids that had so much potential making absolutely nothing of their lives and just getting into trouble because of lack of support structures.

That is when I realized…

They are being changed by the “context” around them. And until that context sees serious change, it will continue to impact the youth in a negative way. It is unreasonable for us as adults to expect young people not to be changed by the context in which they find themselves in. But it is our responsibility to teach them how to interact with the different contexts, bringing positive change, when needed, both within the contexts and in they themselves.

I don’t know if this makes since. I questioned even writing this blog. It is kind of profound, but might not even be. It is late, and I have alot running through my head! I hope you managed to grasp some sort of concrete thought from this!

Day 41: 4 January – With My Own Two Hands

January 4, 2009
This blog might come across as controversial or maybe offensive to some. I personally do not believe that it has to, but I know that what I am about to type may question certain people’s beliefs a bit, and in so rub them the wrong way. My intentions are not to offend or irritate people, so if you find that this entry does in fact rub you the wrong way, I ask that you finish reading it, think about it a bit, and give the subject matter a little more thought; before you just cast it aside. And though this blog has a “spiritual” slant to it, I feel that it is relevant to people of all walks of life and faiths.

I guess it is important to start off by saying that I am a Christian. I have a strong faith in God that is a very important part of my life. Lately it seems I have been confronted with a certain “theme” over and over again; through conversations, observations, movies, music, and so on. Summing up or defining this “theme” in few words is difficult, but I guess the easiest way to describe it is I have noticed how people seem to put too much blame, and responsibility, on God when it comes to the negativity that they see in their life and in the world around them. Not only do they blame God for the bad that they see or experience, but they also put too much responsibility on Him to fix it.

Ok, now I guess that is the controversial part that I was talking about but hear me out. I think prayer is important. I think it is equally important to ask God for strength, hope, help, comfort, and whatever else you may need in life. But I also think that we are sometimes way to quick to look up and blame God for bad things happening, or good things not happening, when we have the power to change those things ourselves. An example would be a man that passed by a hungry, half-naked, shivering street child on a cold winter night. As the man passed the child he truly felt moved with emotion, outraged that a child would have to live in such a situation, and broken hearted thinking about the child.

The man immediately began to pray, “Dear God please help this child! He looks so hungry and cold. I pray that you would send someone across his path that could give him shelter, food and clothes! It is not fair for this child to live in this situation for another day…”. The man did not even question or consider that he most probably was that very person! That he himself possessed the ability and power to immediately change that child’s reality. But it is easier to ask God to do it. A few days later the man may pass the child again, and see that he is in the exact same predicament, and nothing has changed for the good. The man might then take out his anger, and even guilt, on God, “Oh God why do you not answer my prayers?! How can you let this child live under these circumstances?! Why?”. God is probably asking the man the same thing!

I know that example is kind of extreme, but I hope my point is clear. I was watching Bruce Almighty the other day when it came on television. For those of you that haven’t seen it, Bruce (played by Jim Carrey) basically questions God (played by Morgan Freeman) on how he “runs” things and God gives him the chance to do a better job if he thinks he can. At first Bruce is drunk with power, and he misuses it for his own selfish will. Then he begins granting every single prayer that every single person prays! Things begin to utterly spin out of control and total chaos ensues. When things are totally devastatingly terrible Bruce speaks with God. God then tells him, “That’s your problem, Bruce. That’s everybody’s problem. You keep looking up… People want me to do everything for them. What they don’t realize is that they have the power. You want to see a miracle? Be the miracle.” From that point on Bruce starts to make “right” the “wrongs” he had made.

He doesn’t use his divine supernatural powers to do so either! He merely uses his free will, power to choose, and, most importantly, power to ACT. So he gives the job back to the guy he stole it from by misusing his powers, he realizes he cannot put a spell on his girlfriend to make her not be mad at him and he has to work to earn her love back (after he really messed things up with her), and he does things as simple as getting out in traffic to help a guy whose car is broken down. This does not take the role of God completely out of the picture, but Bruce realized an important lesson: So many of the things that he complained about in life were merely “that way” because good people decided not to act, but by simply choosing to “act”, no matter how small the deed may be, true change can come and slowly solutions are found for the problems that cause grief. He realized not only that we are part of the problem, but that we can also be a part of the solution; we can BE the solution.

Now as I said, this does not take God out of the equation; at least not for me. I still look to Him for wisdom, strength, hope, guidance and the other things I need to assist me along the way. But I just realize that, for whatever reason, we live in a world where God chooses to work through people; people that have the gift of free will. And so when we see something we see something that we feel is not right, or someone that we feel needs help, or a situation where change should come, instead of asking God, “How can you let that happen?”, we should look to ourselves and as the same question, and see what is in our power and capacity to see needed change come. Like Gandhi said, “Be the change you want to see!”.

“I can change the world
With my own two hands
Make a better place
With my own two hands
Make a kinder place

I can make peace on earth
With my own two hands
And I can clean up the earth
With my own two hands
And I can reach out to you
With my own two hands”

(Ben Harper, With My Own Two Hands)