Stop pretending. Putting filters over selfies; checking up on people on Facebook or monitoring how many likes you get. Go and seek real contact.
A few weeks ago we asked five high school classes, age 16, to write about what inspires them and what they want the world we live in to look like. This is one of the inspiring stories by Lisa Peek, student at Cals College Nieuwegein.
Stop pretending. Putting filters over selfies; checking up on people on Facebook or monitoring how many likes you get. Go and seek real contact and you will live a beautiful, loving life. Discover adventure, just like Maggie Doyne did.
That one girl
At nineteen years old, Maggie Doyne left to go backpacking through Nepal. When she arrived there, she saw a small, malnourished girl, chopping stones to earn some money to eat. Maggie couldn’t just leave the girl there like that and she decided to help her to go to school. She found out that there was a malnourished, small child that could do with her help, on every corner. Maggie decided to dedicate her life to helping children in Nepal. She used her savings and several donations to leave for Nepal for good. She set up an orphanage and she adopted four Nepalese children. At nineteen, she was a mother of four and the owner of an orphanage in Nepal.
Not long ago, the Dutch tv-show ‘Floortje naar het einde van de wereld’ (Floortje goes to the end of the world), did a special on Maggie. Now, Maggie is twenty-eight years old and is a mother to fifty-one Nepalese children. She has her own charity, BlinkNow, that aims to provide a home; education; medical attention; briefings for women on menstruation and sex and overall a better future for the poor children in Nepal. At the end of 2015, Maggie received the CNN Hero of the Year award. She spoke at the awardshow: “And to all of you in this room and who are watching, please, please remember that we have the power to create the world that we want to live in, just as we want it. And that’s what all the Heroes here have done tonight.” That’s exactly the way more people should think.
We all get happy when we read on social media about people who do good, but most of the time, we don’t take any action after that. What if you would do wat Maggie Doyne did? In countries like Nepal, you may not have free wifi everywhere. You may not even have cell reception at some places. Maggie has a great life nonetheless. She enjoys the love that the children and volunteers at the orphanage give her. We don’t need social media to make connections. That doesn’t mean that social media are not a great force that we can use to our advantage. People like Maggie can use social media for fundraising and sharing beautiful stories. Sometimes though, people get too wrapped up in their phone and they forget to look around. Maybe help an old lady cross the street, instead of running into her because you were too busy whatsapping someone.
In short, when you think about others, you get beautiful things back. There are a lot of organised volunteer trips. Even at a very young age, you can get on a plane and help people. I myself have saved money to go on a volunteering trip this summer. This can change your view on life and can help you to put yourself in someone elses shoes. Stop pretending, discover real life. And don’t forget about the old saying: do unto others, as you would have them do unto you.