A new book is offering children a clearer sense of the inequality in the word and asking parents of older children a difficult question: How young is too young to let children know just how unfair the world can be? Where Children Sleep by James Mollison compares the bedrooms of children all over the world and with a few simple words, shows how differently people live.
Some of the photos are disturbing for a host of different reasons. Looking through them, I was horrified both by the poverty some children live in and by the pampering other children receive. It seems like a simple thing -- a book of chidlren's bedrooms and sleeping areas -- and yet it really puts things in perspective.
By some standards, my life probably looks pretty cushy. By others, it is perhaps a nightmare. But that is what perspective is, after all. We understand our position and become more appreciative. Here are some of the photos from the book:
For those who cannot travel around the world, this book offers a glimpse of what life is like beyond the four walls of your home. This is why travel matters so much in terms of really understanding the world. Until you have been inside the homes of a person living in a Bedouin shack in Israel, then you can't really understand what it is like to live in one. But this book helps with that.
There is nothing inherently wrong with having privileges, but you also have to understand them in order to be grateful and in order to want to help others. I will show this book to my children very soon. I am sure they will both find it fascinating on many levels.
What do you think your kids would think of this book?