Giveaway: The Lottery of Birth

Hey guys! I’m very excited to share with you the biggest (and only) giveaway!! Follow the steps below to find out how you can win. Firstly, make sure you have a mobile phone with you. Then turn on the mobile phone, access the camera app and switch to face cam. Now, look at that person reflected on the screen and repeat this to him or her, “I have already won.”

Yes, you have already won. You’ve won the lottery of birth. Did you know that according to Global Issues and Compassion International, 80% of the world live on less than $10 a day and 600 million children live in abject poverty. Bring in ethnicity and religion into the mix, and you have genocide by the tens of thousands. In a sense, you and I had a 4 in 5 chance of being born to a poor family, residing in a poverty or war-stricken country. But instead, we were the 1.

Even as we sleep soundly tonight, know that there are people crammed up in boats waiting to die.

 
The disparity is apparent between the rich and the poor, the dominant race and the minority, the thriving and the dying. Bangladeshi and Rohingya migrants made Straits Times front covers (again) on last Thursday’s papers. In a sadistic twist of fate, the article positioned below the migrant’s story was about Singapore topping the world’s most comprehensive education rankings.4379_001

Did you know that the Rohingya Muslims accounts for one-third of the entire Myanmar population? Did you know that 140,000 Rohingya Muslims are forced to live in 21st century concentration camps? Did you know that Myanmar is the No. 1 country most susceptible to sate-led mass killing? Even as we sleep soundly tonight, know that there are people crammed up in boats waiting to die. Because the governments in the vicinity has chosen to turn their backs on the Rohingya and Bangladeshi migrants for fear that they will be staying in their country for good.

While our perspective to this issue is very much determined on which camp we belong to (whether you are one of the Rohingya migrants or one of the Singaporean/Malaysian/Thai/Indonesian/American, etc), can we seriously price our country’s economic and social ‘growth’ above human lives? So far, none of Myanmar’s neighbouring countries are opening their doors to the migrants (with exception to the few thousands whom were accepted by Malaysia and Philippines), the migrant’s home country Myanmar has forsaken its own people, and America the world’s superpower and apparent champion for world peace and stability is deafeningly silent on the entire situation. There are many implications to accepting these migrants but countries are possibly more afraid of upsetting their citizens for accepting these refugees.

Vicious is the cycle of poverty and violence. Knowledge is power, but without access to knowledge, even a witty child is no match for guns and hunger.

 
Our handling of such crises shows that we have not really grown much as a collective human race, after all this years. We continue to draw and reaffirm geographical, economic, racial and religious lines. Before we put on our high hats to condemn the migrants for choosing to travel here illegally or for killing each other over food, I wonder can we say the same for ourselves if we were trapped in that situation?

A person’s access to education, food, safety, housing (and happiness) is almost a hundred percent determined by whom and the accompanying circumstances he or she is born to. And with that, their futures both the bright or the grim. More often than not, we are a byproduct of our circumstances. A child born to a poverty-stricken family in a war-torn country is almost certain to stay poor or participate in criminal activities as he grows up. Vicious is the cycle of poverty and violence. Knowledge is power, but without access to knowledge, even a witty child is no match for guns and hunger. What kind of life is that when you worry that you might not live to see another day?

Yes, you have already won. You’ve won the lottery of birth.

 
So here I am, taking some time to write an entry away from the usual content. I would like to ask us, as a collective human race.. Will we let income, racial, religious and culture differences separate us even further, or will we prize the value of human life – regardless of race, language or religion – above things that really, is not as valuable as a human life?

As we tell ourselves to be glad that we won the lottery of birth, can we ask ourselves how can we do better? As we retreat within the comfort of our blankets tonight, can we ask ourselves how can we help others like the Rohingya migrants who ‘failed to win the lottery of birth’?

Reference:

http://www.globalissues.org/article/26/poverty-facts-and-stats

http://www.compassion.com/poverty/poverty.htm

http://endgenocide.org/conflict-areas/burma/

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