A Change of Heart - My Family Travels

           Bangladesh is a country so small; it can fit 73 times into America. Even with the drastic difference in size, Bangladesh has 1/3 of America’s population. Nearly half of the population lives below the poverty line, and there is hardly any income for most. It is difficult to realize just how arduous people’s lives are, until you see them with your own eyes.

            I was born in Bangladesh, but I was only 5 years old when I moved to America; therefore I never really understood the hardships around me. I never noticed the poor people out on the streets until I went back 3 years ago. 

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For some reason, I used to be extremely afraid of people with serious injuries; thus, when I came across a man without eyes in Bangladesh I was too afraid to help him. He was a begger looking for money, and instead of personally doing anything, I had my aunt give him some money. Now that I think back, I regret not doing more to help out the man. The world is full of underprivileged people, and it is impossible for one person to help them all.

            Seeing these people, begging for money, food, and shelter puts a lot of things into perspective. Nevertheless, it does not allow you to feel the pain, and suffering they go through every day. These poverty stricken people are struggling to provide food for their children. Most of the time, they only get to eat two very small meals. I never understood how hard restrictions on foods are for many people, until I tried to live like them. Ramadan is the time of year when all Muslim’s fast; the main purpose of it is to teach people how difficult life is for the poor. During Ramadan you are only allowed to eat one meal before dawn, and one after dusk. I am used to eating 3 meals a day as well as multiple snacks. After a couple of hours of not eating, a piece of bread begins to look like a delicious cake.  Experiencing Ramadan this year really helped me understand just how hard these people work to get enough money for food, and shelter. Most people do not have enough money to feed their children, and are forced to eat very little. This causes malnutrition, and they face extreme consequences with their health. When I realized my wasteful habits with food, I decided to do something to help the people of Bangladesh.

            When I realized just how little food some people have in Bangladesh, I asked my mom to make a donation. I realized that if a few families made fifty dollar donations, we could feed over 300 people in Bangladesh. My family, along with my grandparents, aunts, and uncles, combined all of our donations, and used it to cook an enormous meal. My family went to a village, and cooked for hundreds of people who usually do not receive this much food. For one day these people were blissfully full of delicious food, and had fewer things to worry about.

            Throughout the years, I feel as if I have grown up, and matured a lot. I am very glad that I have changed from a person who was afraid to go near a disabled man, to a person who wants to help others as much as I possibly can.

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