A Letter To Future Generations And Children
Dear future generations and unborn children, hope this letter finds you in relaxed mood. I know they don’t sell newspapers in heaven but you will understand this. I understand you are always worried about your future but this letter is deeply from my heart. It is true your future blackens each day and things have gone out of hands. You have a price to pay and this is going to be hard with you.
My heart always bleeds when I think about you and the pains that await you. I am not scaring you. I just want to give you a glimpse of what will happen when you come into this world.
You are about to begin a restless journey that will take you from pain, hardship, and failure to disappointment and I would vehemently encourage you to take courage and be strong. It is another week now and I thank God for giving me another opportunity to pen this letter.
It took me pains to put these words together. My hands were shaking and I find it hard to put the pen into the paper. I smudged this paper with tears for almost two hours when I was writing. I was crying for children who will never find happiness in their lifetimes. I was crying for children who will have to work hard and die while trying.
Little ones, if you come here. You will not believe I’m the one who has been writing to you. I am skin and bones and any moving wind could toss me around. It is not sickness; it is too much pain and worry about the future. There is no rest here and there is no peace. I go to bed late and battle against insomnia till I wake up in the morning and walk whole day till sunset. “Insomnia”. You will wonder what that means. It is lack of sleep or wakefulness. At my age, this is the right time I should have enough sleep for my health but of what use is my health to me when my heart is always beating.
I don’t sleep at night and thinking alone consumes much of my time. I am over 18 now and I don’t have a roof over my head. My little siblings need my support and I wonder if I would really make it. Immediately before putting my back down to rest, I begin to ponder what to do in the morning and where to get my next meal and if I would really live to see another day. These strange fears deprive me of my sleep and you will go through these hurdles whether you like it or not.
I don’t want to sugarcoat anything because I love you and I want you to be a bit different from us. It is not going to be easy and I will not explain much because you will come here and experience what I’m trying to explain.
You will be born by a woman who will spend sacrifice all she has to raise you and when you clock to 18 years of age, you will begin to know what is missing and the world you have come to. If you are lucky, you will be blessed with financially buoyant parents who will take you through childhood life without any problems or difficulties. You will have food to eat all the times. Clothes to wear. A room of your own with all your youthful needs and you will never be chased from school because of school fees until you become complete adults who can take care of themselves.
But one thing I will ask you if you fall into this category is never to disappoint these people. There will come a time when they will be old and they will need your help more than you ever did. You cannot pay back but at least try to show that their efforts in raising you were not in vain. You need to be a good child and try to extend a helping hand to the unfortunate ones. The unfortunates ones would not be part of your family; they are people with disabilities including the destitute. They live on streets because they don’t have homes.
As I mentioned it earlier, not all of you are going to be born into well-to do-families. Some of you are going to be born into poor of the poorest families and this is where I found myself in. It is not easy here. This is where there are a lot of struggles to survive. The sun rests on your back. You try this and it brings you down to your knees. You ask a prayer that only hit the ceiling and fall down on your head.
You will before reaching the age of 18 realize that your parents need your support than you expecting a support from them. This is where you will just sit down and cry. You will envisage your suicide and curse nature for having created you. The problems of life will make you old before you reach the age of 15. And when you are not strong hearted, you will die and leave your parents in great pains for the hard earned resources they have used while raising you up and your world will always cry for having lost you because you could have done something great if you had bore the pains.
I know you will wonder why God had to discriminate against people especially when you find yourself in one of the poorest communities around. You will see children about your age living a lavish life with their parents. Little ones, when I was 15 I used to think like God was discriminative but when I turned 18 I realized that I was wrong and would be happy if you don’t follow my footsteps by taking God as someone who is discriminative and that remains as a true fact.
This world is not fair and it would really be hard with you. The days you would spend on this earth will be counted from the day you are born. You will go from pain to pain and a lot of struggles with fruitless results that will only break your heart. And this would force you to either kill yourself or you become a street child but at that time when you happen to fall in the second category where you find yourself in abject poverty.
I would beg you in the name of the living God not to go for suicide or street life. You have to always face life even with tears in your eyes. When you are faced with a lot of challenges, this is where you know that there is something you are living for. Don’t sit down and cry when you meet a lot of problems because a problem free is not real. It does not exist and you will prove it when you come here.
The other thing I would warn you not to think about is when you are born into a very poor family. Don’t ask God why he blessed you with financially thin parents or why he created you in a country with low life expectancy rate. Little ones, these negative thoughts have killed men and women who could have changed the world. Where you are is where God wants you to be. You should stop considering the odds and know that you are the only change or the only remedy to all the difficulties that you and your parents go through.
When God choose you and you make it here later, you will see parents who sell goats, cows or chickens to see their children go through education. Some work day and night and deprive themselves of all their hearty desires or bodily needs only to put food on the table for their children. But little ones, they get disappointed by the same children when they grow.
Some of these children quit school, start drinking and even bring wives home when they can’t afford to buy a loaf of bread or even soap. Little ones don’t try to be like those children when you come here. When you see these people, run as fast as you could. You have to be different and know that you are here for a reason. The life that will be given to you is not something to joke with. It is given once and once you misuse it, you don’t get it again.
You will live for about 80 to 100 years or even more than that if you are lucky but what are you going to do with those 80 years? The choice is going to be yours little ones. You only live once and it is very sad to mention. Make right choices and leave this world in peace not in pieces.
About the writer: Ngor Khot Garang is a 21 year old human right activist and columnist with Juba Monitor Newspaper, one of South Sudan’s leading newspapers.