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After reading "Mother to Mother," by Sindiwi Magona, "Three Cups of Tea," by Mortenson, and "Mornings in Jenin," by Susan Albuhawa, as well as viewing the documentary The Corporation it is almost impossible not to be impacted by many of the world's catastrophes throughout time. These four sources are life-motivating and point out microcosms to some of the major issues that humans are experiencing today and allow those who are not being directly affected by these problems to let go of their ignorance and take initiative. These are the people who these authors are trying to reach out to. They want to have a significant impact on society; and believe that they can make a difference and dream the utopia of a diverse world living together in a peaceful coexistence. These people remind us that we should not fear to speak out and reach for help; instead we should act upon world problems with vehemence. These sources all address a major problem in world history, and with the help of these strong and determined people, hope is still able to be present in people's hearts.
"Mother to Mother" is a touching novel that portrays hardships and catastrophic events lived by people in South Africa during Apartheid. It tells the story of the real-life murder of the young, Fulbright scholar Amy Biehl, in South Africa by a young man called Mxolisi, who belonged to a group of Apartheid protestors. Throughout the novel, the murder of the girl is explained through the voice of the killer's mother, Mandisa. The beginning is a letter that Mandisa sends to Amy Biehl's mother, in an effort to explain her son's reasons to kill her. In the letter, Mandisa begs for forgiveness for her son's action and also describes to Amy's mother the anger and chaos that stirs in the hearts of the young ones that belonged to the same activist group as her son.
The novel tells the hardships that Mandisa lives through her childhood, her entire village being relocated and then life becoming more difficult when she gets pregnant of her first son, Mxolisi, at age fifteen. The mother describes the difficulty of raising two children whom she really has no control over; both her son and daughter are passionate teenagers that will do anything to have their voices heard. Mxolisi even drops out of school to join the "No Education Before Liberation" movement, which holds protests and rallies to express their ideas. The novel then progresses to the day in which Amy enters the community of Guguletu, where Mandisa and her children lived and where Amy is just dropping off some colleagues. The fact that Mxolisi stabs the girl to death causes a lot of commotion in the village and Mandisa explains to Amy's mother in her letter that her son, now dead as well, is too a victim because of the environment that he was born into. The epistle transmits to readers a feeling of heartbreak from two mothers who have lost their children in different but terrible ways.
"Mother to Mother" delineates to readers the South African legacy of Apartheid in a moving way. The epistolary form of 'mother to mother' causes a feeling of sympathy and compassion in readers, especially to the ones who are not familiar with South Africa's history. Just as the event that this novel describes, there are many others in the history of South Africa during the Apartheid regime that show the intensity of violence and catastrophes in our world. As a consequence of the touching exploration that this novel presents, readers can see that peace between two people can be reached through reasoned talking, or in this case, letters. There are always two sides to every story, and people suffer on both accounts. "Mother to Mother" helps one see the importance of compassion and comprehension of individuals towards others.
"Three Cups of Tea" proves to the reader how one single person can in fact make a significant difference in the world. Greg Mortenson, the author, tells a story that pertains to his love for mountain climbing, which eventually leads him to the adventure of his life. Mortenson fails to climb K2 and while heading back down the mountain he takes a slight detour, causing him to miss the bridge and find himself in Korphe, a village that is of absolutely no significance to outsiders. The people there are welcoming and care for him, bringing him back to health. He happens to ask about their schools, but the people respond that there are no schools. The children meet in open spaces and use sticks to write their assignments on the dirt. This is the point when his mission becomes clear. He decides to bring schools to these remote villages in Afghanistan, in an effort to educate women. After building the first school, Mortenson is able to gain the trust of people in other villages, bringing as many schools as he possibly can to some of the poorest places.
This book depicts the nature of the interests in the Middle East and the importance of education. The lesson that Mortenson wants to transmit is that the power of knowledge and education is the greatest. The main problem he explains is the lack of schooling in these third world countries. The idea that Mortenson proves is that by providing poor students with an education is only making them much more difficult for the extremists to recruit, and is using education as a means of fighting terrorism; war is not the only means to stop it.
Working to build schools for villages throughout Pakistan and Afghanistan, Mortenson is confronted with many life lessons. One of those lessons he learns from the elders, that the ability to do what you want is based on determination. His actions come to mean so much to these people who have nothing, and it becomes evident that even one single individual with determination and character can really make a difference in the world.
"Mornings in Jenin" by Susan Albuhawa is a meaningful novel that shows the Palestinian-Israeli conflicts from the mid-20th century up to 2002. Amal, one of the main characters of the novel is a girl that is born amidst all the chaos that begins to take place as Israelis invade Palestinian territory in 1948. Amal is born just when all her people have become refugees and taken to the village of Jenin. This girl grows up in a violent environment, witnessing atrocious events as Israelis and Palestinians fight for territory. She and her best friend portray the role of friendship in good as well as in bad times, as they remain together during numerous bombings to their village and even have to stay in an underground hole with a baby who later dies. Hardships such as these should certainly not be lived by anyone, least of all a child. Throughout the novel, Amal struggles with a feeling of loneliness; her mother had already began to immerse herself in a terrible depression after her son Ismael was stolen by an Israeli soldier before Amal's birth, and as the war continues to break out she becomes more and more alienated from her surroundings as life goes on. Not only does Amal feel the detachment from her mother but misses her father terribly after he disappears.
The novel progresses and Amal continues to grow in a hostile environment as the military occupation rules the Palestinians' lives. In 1969, Amal is sent to an orphanage for Palestinian refugees in Jerusalem, and is eventually given a scholarship to go study at Temple University in Philadelphia. This novel describes the hardships lived by people in Palestine in a harsh and detailed manner, transmitting to readers the suffering taking place in the Middle East.
"The Corporation" is a documentary that explains to viewers the problem the world is facing today with many corporations, as they have positive and negative influences in today's society. It is the fact that people do not understand a corporation as the documentary refers to it as "a person". A few individuals are interviewed in order to help the public understand and make a change to the evils that are being caused by corporations around the world.
A corporation is an "entity" that represents the interests of providing value and profits to its shareholder, and eventually becomes a monstrosity. Corporations become self-feeding bodies with the single purpose of growing and surviving. The documentary highlights the basis of how corporations can get outrageously out of control and become such evil "machines" that in fact their only purpose in the world is to grow and survive without consider the expenses. The film addresses the issue of how corporations can cause so much pain and suffering and even bring death to the world at a global level-- corporations impact everything and everyone around the world, but the odd thing is that the staff and individuals working for these same corporations are normal everyday people who in fact show to have their morals straight. Corporations have caused humans to forget about morals and values due to the fact that they are created solely to make as much money as they can; it is a competition. The lack of ethical manners conflicts with people's free rights, and causes moral problems as such. Corporations are viewed as an amalgamation of damned people, considered the worst possible citizens any country could have. "The Corporation" shows various shocking images of some of the effects that are getting out of control; for example, when they show how cruel animals are treated, how human beings from other nations are also being treated with cruelty, and various environmental effects. This video does prove to citizens that corporations are capable of committing evil acts, even though the people who run them are not evil- which seems extremely hypocritical and ironic. The documentary emphasizes the fact that people have the power to bring evil corporations down by teaching others that hope can be found in discrete groups of people like in India, Bolivia, among others, who have found ways to remove power from certain corporations that control life-essential resources like water and salt. People should not fear the power of these corporations that now rule society; instead they should act upon this with hope that nothing is written on stone and that there certainly is space for change to occur.
In conclusion, one could argue that all these sources are tied together through the idea of an individual's capacity to make an impacting change in today's world. These sources all help to strengthen individuals who are confronted by them, with motivating and intriguing stories. Some of the major problems in today's world are being solved with the help and effort of the strong and determined individuals the world is fortunate to have. The creators of these sources are in fact making and encouraging others to follow in their footsteps. Everyone is capable of obtaining this life long dream of a peaceful-coexistence, just as long individuals do not forget that any bit of help can contribute to the process of change in the world.