Visiting Madagascar was incredible, not only because of the natural beauty this country has to offer but also because it was eye-opening. And one of the reasons were the children. The photo below was taken somewhere along the road to a city in Madagascar. The children were dutifully sitting on these stairs while their mum was selling peanuts on a stall.
What are you first thoughts when you look at this photo?
- "They look so poor and miserable"?
- "They are not wearing shoes?!"
- "Imagine living in such a country, it's so sad"
These are normal reactions and I am not criticizing them. But you would be surprised to see how much joy I saw in children's eyes in this country. They were ecstatic when I gave them a little piece of dried fig, because they'd never seen something like that before. They were amazed when I showed them a photo of themselves on my digital camera screen, because they don't have a mirror and have never seen their face before.
They don't have much to eat, they don't have much to wear, they don't have much to do. Yet they are happy. And we are unhappy. We have so much, but we always want more.
Can we become children again?