Sunday, July 30, 2006

Childhood

Last night once again I found myself rummaging through the attic trying to find something I had lost maybe a century ago? Filled with blind hope that indeed I would regain it, as I swam through heaps of junk from the past and piles and piles of papers. Until I reached the point at which the reason to why I had initially gone up there was completely forgotten, and this new adventure of discovery was much more interesting. Amongst the clutter I found a row of neatly positioned A4 folders, which my father had carefully placed in alphabetical order. Memories came flooding back as I came across report cards and certificates from my primary school. In the midst of these, I found an old poem I had written at a young age, one I still remember writing, and thought I had lost forever. At the time I entitled the poem “poem 4” only because it was the fourth ever poem I had ever written. The memories attached to this poem remind me of “happy days” or should that be “happier days”? I’m not quiet sure, anyway, so I thought I would leave it unchanged and share it, as it is.


Poem 4

Long ago one dreadful night,
My eyes caught hold of what a site,
I was walking through the streets alone,
And a lot of courage I had shown.

Rain was falling gently not making a sound,
Yet I could not feel it, as it touched the ground,
And as I walk more, my footsteps you hear,
Only mine, no one else’s, are you feeling my fear?

It was late at night so dark and cold,
I should have stayed in as I was told,
The streets were empty I saw not a breath,
The weather was cold and as bitter as death.

My pace became faster as I walked more and more,
It was like walking in circles, I’ve been here before?
I was in trouble now, so I began to run,
Until I was blinded with light like the sun.

Oceans of feelings were set out free,
As I couldn’t believe what I did see,
I didn’t know whether to smile or scream,
It all happened so fast, was I in a dream?

A gift so pure so full of love,
A present from God sent from high above,
I stood there speechless not saying a word,
Yet all my emotions and feelings were heard.

His light filled me with warmth and pleasure,
His presence to me was like immeasurable treasure,
And as he turned and walked away,
I prayed my angel would return some day.


This poem made me take a step back and realise how quickly we grow? How quickly one is made to take responsibility for their life and actions? It made me think of childhood, with its innocence and how it flies by without giving a warning. I also thought how funny it was that most people would associate inexperience, gullibility, simplicity, truth, purity, virtue and basically pure magic with the word childhood? I realised how unfair it was that some children around the world are stripped of theirs with such force that it leaves them naked of their freedom as a child to face the harsh world as it is, but what hurt more was that its allowed to continue as if the problem would disappear if we all turned our backs. So I searched the following statistics:

Of Americas 5 fastest growing health concerns (including depression, diabetes, impotence and age related problems) obesity is ranked number one with 61%. Sometimes it is diet choices that are the problem. Too often, fast food or frozen meals substitute for a quality meal. Not only fast food, but sugary treats are nowadays way too common. What used to be a rare treat has now become a daily if not hourly intake. However I acknowledge that Diet is not the only culprit, Lack of exercise, is another cause of child obesity. Video games have replaced much physical activity that is needed to burn off excess calories children consume. It was hard for me to believe that studies show, increased risk of heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, breathing problems and trouble sleeping are all related to obesity in young children!

Then my mind bought me back here to the UK, to when Jamie Oliver sparked off his “feed me better” campaign, with the delightful television programme, I’m sure most of us watched…he took his campaign further when He launched a petition with the aim of getting 10,000 signatures to improve the standard of school dinners in the UK. Four days after the final episode aired, in March 2005, he delivered it to Downing Street. It held 271,677 signatures. Tony Blair promised to take action and, within weeks, the new education secretary, Ruth Kelly, announced that an extra £235m would be invested in improving meals over the next three years.

Fifteen million pounds of that money went on setting up the School Food Trust which, announced a new set of regulatory standards which come into force in September: an end to processed items, crisps, fizzy drinks and confectionery; a minimum of two portions of fruit and vegetables with every meal; no more than two fried items a week. They also said that schools would have to meet even more stringent nutritional standards by 2008.

Maybe it’s just me, but I find it so hard to accept that one of the highest concerns on America’s agenda is to stop children eating so much of what it is so readily available, whereas else where in the world children are dying due to the lack of it. To encourage exercise because too much time is spent in front of the TV or playing Playstation while other children are the sole providers for what’s left of their families after their parents are killed due to war, disease or famine. It irritates me how Jamie Oliver goes through all that trouble to include lobsters and hand picks green apples imported from Portugal to Sainsbury’s, in children’s school meals so they can have it laid out on a silver plate, something the government is all too ready to aid, while other children, maybe on the other side of the same earth sleep hungry. Or if it ever comes across his mind that some children in south Africa have to wake up from dawn to do their chores so that they can travel yes travel to school which is located on the other side of their village, because it’s the only one, does anyone worry about their school meals?

Some children are forced to grow up and face responsibility before their time, are made to deal with war, deaths in family, and destruction without even knowing the reason why? But I guess life is unfair and that isn’t about to change. I know that these aren’t the only problems children all over the world face everyday (including Europe and America) and I probably couldn’t even begin to imagine, actually I’m probably the last person who can begin to talk as I’ve lived most of my life in the comfort of the UK. I just believe that children have the right to live equally because they’re so venerable, pure and innocent, they shouldn’t have to pay the price of their fathers. I know that I’m not going to change the world but I could at least talk about it.

2 Comments:

Blogger Little Penguin said...

americans die as a result of obesity and the rest of the world endure wars for a piece of bread.

pity would be no more,
if we did not make somebody poor,
and mercy would no longer be,
if all were as happy as we.

I'm sure Mr Blake didn't know about Kenya or Kambodia two centuries ago, but he got that concept spot on!

P.S: Don't cuss Sainsbury's, I just bought lunch from there. :)

2:55 pm  
Blogger icek14 said...

your poetry is really good
sorry my lexicon is not so diverse
so i wont be able to
express how good this poem is
so im gonna stick to the simple words :D

keep it up and please keep them coming please!!

bye :)

12:50 am  

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