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Some Mother's Child, Pennies for Peace, Changing Priorities

Last night, after watching the dvd Slumdog Millionaire, (for those who haven't seen it, there is a small spoiler ahead) I told my husband that I felt that one of the reasons the young man loved the young woman so much was because he'd known her since he was a child and she connected him to that time when his mother was still alive. I probably wouldn't have noticed this if I weren't a mom, but since having Tristan almost 29 months ago, my point of view on many things has changed.

There was a time when I didn't care to donate money to any group except environmental groups. I feel that the earth should be our number one priority because we are taking up space on it, infecting it with too many people and raping its resources. All the environmental catastrophes that are occurring are a result of these and earth's way of saying "Enough!" I still feel this way, but since having Tristan, I have seen his face in so many different faces and so I also feel now that it is beneficial to help people - especially children. Everyone is some mother's son or daughter and I have to assume that some mother felt about each person I see the same way I feel about Tristan. Admittedly, it is easier to feel sympathy or empathy for someone who is in need than some jerk who cuts you off. But sometimes anger turns to compassion because you start to think, "Maybe they didn't have a mom who loved them." I have become a complete mush ball, I think.

If children grow up loved then they will in turn love, and if they grow up educated, the hope - for me- is that they will not continue to poison the earth. After reading Three Cups of Tea last October, I sent off for some information about the organization Pennies for Peace. Three Cups of Tea is the book about a mountaineer who got lost in the mountains in Pakistan and was helped by a small village of people, without whom he probably would not have survived. He vowed to come back and help them build a school, and it was hard, but he did. Since then many more have been built. That sums it up in a very small nutshell. Pennies for Peace is an off-shoot from the Central Asia Institute, the main organization that helps finance all of the building.

I started collecting pennies (and dimes and nickels) around Christmas and am still putting them in my little container. At some point this year I'll take it to the bank and get a check for Pennies for Peace. What Pennies for Peace does is educate children about other children around the world. It was started by children here in the U.S. raising pennies to send to Afghanistan and Pakistan to help build schools and educate mainly young women. According to what I read through Pennies for Peace and Central Asia Institute, studies have shown that when you educate a young woman in remote Pakistan or Afghanistan, she is more likely to return to her village and use her education in a way that helps her village, whereas young men are more likely to leave and not necessarily return. Anyway, Pennies for Peace is an organization for children by children, so I'm doing it in Tristan's name. Take a look at the websites because it's a great cause. All this talk about erradicating terrorism, well, Afghanistan is where that's at and educating kids there is probably the best way to weed out future terrorists. Politicians take note.

I'm not doing justice to these organizations and all the good they've done. Certainly don't take my word for it, check it out yourself or for your kids. If you're anything like me your priorites have probably changed since you had kids. I'd heard motherhood would do that. I just didn't know how much.

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