Thursday, April 20, 2006

Notes From My Travels

I was strolling through Barnes and Noble a few months ago and found this book wedged in between two other, fatter, and more noticeable books. The name ANGELINA JOLIE on the spine stood out like Paris Hilton in church.

Naturally I had to get my grubby mitts on it. I took it home and put it on my book shelf where it remained for several months. I do not know why I didn't read it right away. Probably because it was not a tell-all about her personal life. Just kidding! It had more to do with the fact that I already feel helpless when I read about how terrible conditions are in other countries. When I think about it, I know I'm lucky to have change in my pocket and a surplus of things like toilet paper and soap, not to mention a pantry full of food. I just read that if you have more than one outfit in your closet and a running car and a warm bed, you are automatically wealthier than something like 75% of the world.

I was on vacation when I read Notes from My Travels, how ironic that I was lounging in the Caribbean while reading about poor refugees, sick children, and landmind victims. This is Angelina’s actual diaryfrom her humanitarian trips. She is very humble and grateful for the opportunities to help others, mainly assisting refugees from the poorest places in the world. After reading, I was inspired to do something, not sit out in the sun sipping a cocktail. I wanted (want) to meet the people she writes about. I want to shake the hands of those workers who dedicate their lives in helping the poor and displaced yet get little compensation for their tough work. I felt very privileged and very guilty for having so much while many others have so little.

Angelina talks about visiting Africa, Cambodia, Pakistan, and Ecuador, she speaks fondly of the people and their hope and wishes for peace. These people who don't have their most basic of needs met, are grateful for the help. They are loving and giving in return for the attention to their plight.

The journals are detailed, informative and worth your time to read. Angelina works with the UNHCR; I encourage you to start here if you too have the desire to pitch in, even in the smallest of ways. How wonderful it would be to be to make a difference in this world.


Blogger Amber Love said...
I understand the desire to want to help. I really do. I consider myself to be a generous person. But it struck me one day that while Bono, Richard Gere and Angelina Jolie say we should give more and do more they don't seem to understand that people like them who can afford to do what they do are such a small percentage of our population. I hate that Bono tries to make ME feel guilty because he can take months off of his rock-star job and go help other people in the Third World. I haven't read Angelina's book but I'm afraid she's the same way. I sure hope not. @ 4:40 PM  
Blogger Muffy said...
I felt just the same way after reading Audrey Hepburn's latest biography. @ 12:13 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...
Thanks for the heads up on this one, and the link to where we can learn more. I will check it out and take action. Thanks! @ 12:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...
In regards to the comment from Amber, about how you feel that the rich and famous make you feel guilty about not being able to make months off work to go help in a third world country. I am sure they realize that the majority of the north american population does not have that privilage. They are just wanting to raise awareness, for people not to turn a blind eye anymore. you dont have to have millions to help. @ 11:32 PM  
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