Last week a globe came in the mail. I bought it because it is better to show visually rather than explain verbally to a six year old, I have found. For example, explaining how the Pacific Ocean touches both the Oregon coast and New Zealand is hard because my daughter doesn't know what New Zealand is. This way, we cover both ideas by pointing and saying something like, "Look at the big ocean!"
OC was looking at it when she said, "Mom, they have some kind of 'Republic' on here."
Turns out, there are quite a few republics on it.
The globe sits on our dining room table, for now, and we look at it because it's there. It's fascinating. I find myself staring at it and saying things like, "Huh. I didn't know that French Polynesia was there."
Because today is 9/11, I got to thinking about the people living in all those different countries, republics included. It seems to me that there are a lot of places in the world where I would be scared to live. Although, to be fair, a lot of them probably only seem that way because of my own sheltered perception that those places are scary. It is true that there is a lot of danger in the world and a lot of places are scary and dangerous, especially for women and children.
Thinking about it made me appreciate the good things in life. My daughter was sick, but she recovered and today is back in school. Thank goodness it wasn't a life-threatening illness. Thank goodness she can attend school. Obviously there are parts of the world where she couldn't or wouldn't be accepted at school. While I want her to have the best education she can get and so it brings me to complain about it, it helps to remember that we're lucky to be able to pursue education at all. (Although I will probably continue to complain about it and find ways to supplement her education.)
I'm glad we have the globe because it means we can afford to buy it, and have the luxury of sitting down to study it in relative peace in our own home. I'm glad we don't live in a lot of those places on the globe where the struggle between life and death every day leaves serious question about whether life will win out. We're very lucky, indeed. Life is hard. It's a good reminder to me to figure out a way to give back to the world in some way, with whatever gifts or talents I may have to offer.
Today, OC was looking at it for a while and then she said, "I'm sure glad we have this globe."