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How far would you go to make a child smile?

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How Far Would You Go To Make A Child Smile? "There are people in this world so hungry, that God cannot appear to them except in the form of bread." She points to a quote written on a piece of paper by Mahatmas Gandhi inside my binder. Without looking up, she said, "I tear up every time I see this." I stare at her long slender fingers. Her age is clear by looking at the leathery wrinkles on her hands and arms. Her face is long and slender: her cheekbones protruding below her ears cause the only imperfection. Yet, something about her voice cradles gentleness. She's sitting in a chair, arms and legs crossed, patiently waiting for my reply. Looking up and realizing this, I quickly explain, "Oh, right. My father printed it out for me to remind me how fortunate I am." I wondered if that was a good answer. Was it? She quickly throws me a crooked smile and quietly agrees, "That you are, Yutaka." Ruth Kendrick currently is the founder and president of a non-profit organization: The World Children's Fund. Hundreds of dedicated citizens like Ruth, living in countries all over the world such as Switzerland and Germany organize funds to send humanitarian aid to the poverty stricken areas around the world. These countries include Africa, Philippines, Vietnam, Cuba, and North Korea. As soon as she finished explaining the role her company takes to combat poverty in Developing Countries, I thought, "Great way to portray yourself as a hero!" ...read more.


Pointing to her cheeks that were turning crimson from embarrassment, she said, "I got slapped real hard. I remember my mother not talking to me for weeks. When she finally did though, she said that anyone can try to take your money, but no one can take your education." Although at the time I did not realize this, I later reflected on this single quote and realized how true it was. You can loose money or anything materialistic, but education is an indicator of what you can do, and no one can rob you of it. But even on that first day, as Ruth was facing the quad at San Jose State, she was reluctant to get an education. I have been taught all my life that education is more important that anything else that I owned. Therefore I have pushed hard to get the best education. I rely heavily on the saying, "Have to, glad to." Education as a minor in America is mandatory. Thus, I believe that instead of wasting away six hours of my life everyday, it is far better to invest that time, and learn. When I questioned why she disliked education so much, she simply said, "My heavy Chinese accent made me feel like I did not belong. It wasn't that I hated education, but I felt distant from society. I remember students calling me derogatory terms like chink. ...read more.


But I know, that although I'm just one person, I'm helping the global cause by taking action, not ignoring it." I can find true dedication to the children around the world in her smile. Every time she shares a goal of hers with me, her face brightens, and a smile is put upon her face. I realized that there are more to motivation than just money. For Ruth Kendrick, it's the idea of giving back to community. "I've always felt that I needed to give back in some way to compensate for the things that I gained." It is phenomenal to see that someone go through a negative personal experience, learn from it, and use that experience as an inspiration to help others in similar conditions. Overall however, I came to realize how gifted I am. I came to the United States from Japan when I was 9: the same age as Ruth when she immigrated here. However, I did not have to put up with or experience around me things like malnutrition, disease, death, or abuse. "Feel bad for me?" she added quickly with a frown on her face, "don't, because all of those things are the past, and I'm working hard to help those in need now more then ever. If I didn't experience these times, I probably would be working at a desk, or filing papers, but instead, I'm traveling to places all around the world and constantly meeting new people. And plus, with my job, I get to wake up everyday a feel good, knowing that my work saves lives." ...read more.

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