Pakistan and Her Children

Kristi McCracken, September 22, 2010

Earth Healing Day’s monthly focus of Pakistan isn’t just for spiritual, earth-friendly adults. Children are participating in Her healing as well. Their curiosity, enthusiasm, and dedication inspire action.

As an educator it’s my job to open students’ eyes to the wider world. Preparing global citizens means provide reading materials that act as a doorway through which they can step to make a difference.

Young formative minds need to be fed examples of people such as Greg Mortenson whose simple inexpensive educational solution in Pakistan lessens the impact of the Taliban as they recruit children to their schools that teach jihadists.

Stones into Schools is the sequel to Three Cups of Tea which Greg wrote to promote peace with books, not bombs, in Pakistan. It spotlights his heroic efforts to convince local tribal men about the importance of girls’ education and highlights some of the thousands of girls who have gone through Greg’s schools.

Admiral Mike Mullen, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff said, “What Greg understands better than most—and what he practices more than anyone else I know—is the simple truth that all of us are better off when we have the opportunity to learn, especially our children. By helping them learn and grow, he’s shaping the very future of a region and giving hope to an entire generation.”

As my students try to conceptualize what life is like for the children of Pakistan who live half a world away, their vision is simple… they hope that kids will have a dry place to sleep and food to eat as the flood waters recede.

After reading accounts of massive evacuations that have separated families, my students worry. Millions of displaced Pakistani children face cold nights, hot days, and hunger. In the camps, they’re just beginning to register families and set up hotlines to open communications to reunite youngsters with their families.

To make matters worse, insurgents are threatening foreign aid workers who are delivering flood relief and many worry that the Taliban will capitalize on the chaos created by the floods in Pakistan.

It’s hard for my students to understand that kind of hardship. They have trouble even conceptualizing that in Pakistan, they speak another language, worship a God called Allah, and eat food that differs from their own.

Greg describes how he had to learn to appreciate the yak tea and various other local delicacies, but his descriptions of life for the children there connected with my students. Kids in Pakistan also love their families, play with their siblings and study hard but in outdoor mountain top schools.

For that matter, many adults struggle with the cultural differences which is why Greg’s book is required reading for military personal who are assigned to the region. We hope that Pakistani schools will be rebuilt soon so that the students don’t have to write their lessons outside in the dirt with a stick.

For me, the meditations on the EHD site help focus my prayers which can indeed have a positive impact on a geographical region and those who suffer there. Join us as together we gather from around the world to celebrate our many blessings. Join with like-minded friends this Sun. at noon and send out a collective thank you to our beloved Earth for her many offerings. After this devastating flood, may the people of Pakistan feel our supportive embrace and experience many warm new beginnings.