This I Believe
May 23, 2006
This I Believe
I believe every child has the right to color. Volunteering at the Sunlight African Community Center showed me many things. One of the things I have learned is that I have privilege. As I listened to the children talk, I learned how different my childhood was from theirs. My parents could afford to make sure I had notebooks full of paper and I had tons of colors of crayons to pick from. At times these children could not color because there was no paper to color on. The few crayons they had were broken and. I can’t help but ask myself: Why could I color anytime I wanted and they can’t? If kids can’t do something as simple as color, will they be able to go to college?
The most important thing I have learned is that I share a commonality with these children who can’t color. In the end we are all beings that want to work to provide for our families and ourselves. We all have the right to provide for families through humane work and anything less than this is dehumanizing. The ability to pick up a crayon and color is part of our human dignity. We have the right to color.
Being in college I feel like I have so much more to do that I owe to myself and to others. I am lucky I can color. I am lucky to be in college. I am lucky to have many possibilities for the future and with this education I need to make something of the world. The problems that we face continue to exist unless we address them. I really hope some day in the future I can contribute to the solutions of these problems. Not only do I owe my parents to be productive and successful, I owe it to the children who can’t color.
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.