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A Bus Journey: On Equal Opportunity Printable Version PRINTABLE VERSION
by SoulCakeDuck, Thailand Sep 15, 2008
Human Rights   Opinions
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The stars were sparkling on the horizonless skies which looked like a magician’s dusky cloak when I found myself on a bus leaving from Bangkok to ChiangRai, my home at the end of the world. Sitting for eleven hours on the bus wasn’t very ideal, but sometimes I fell in love with it for it gave me a moment to ponder upon life and its marvels, and to dream of splendid things that couldn’t exist anywhere but in my head…

While on the bus, from time to time, I often found myself imagining that I was
a creator of the world outside the windowpane. I became one who could change the entire world with just the wave of a wand. Then I would think of things I would love to do with this world, how I wanted to change it, and ended up with the resolution that I would love to paint it the color of rainbows and make every bit of it so magical and meaningful that every creature on this planet would be overwhelmed whenever they wake up to the new dawn.

Now looking back, if I could literally change the world, the very first thing I would want to change in this world isn’t its color or its magical bits but is something more abstract—equality. I would want to change this world into a planet of which all dwellers support egalitarianism. Grass would be as elegant as teak. Humans, no matter what gender, race, religion and how old they are, are as reverent as one another. Each individual will have his or her right to live and do whatever they want, not only theatrically but also practically, as long it doesn’t have any negative impact on others. Most important of all, they will be given equal opportunity no matter who they are; the rich or the poor, or where they live; in the civilized countries or in the remote and uncivilized countries.

Opportunity, in my opinion, can cause a great impact on someone’s future, and at this very moment more than half of the residents of this world are in desperate need of greater opportunity. Watch the news on the television and you will find the stories about poor African and Asian children who are in need of help and an opportunity to study and live their lives equally to others. Look around and you will see people walking or driving on the same road as you who need an opportunity for better education or to work in a better condition, look at yourself and you might even be one of those who are opportunity-deprived.

Lives of some Akha people(the hilltribes living on mountains in the north of Thailand and some parts of China) I know might help illustrating the importance of opportunity. One of my best friends at school is an Akha whose house is on Doi Chaang, the mountain in the city of ChiangRai. However, she is currently living at the Akha Outreach Foundation which is a Christian organization running by her American aunt and her Akha uncle to help improving the lives of the Akhas. This friend of mine has the opportunity to continue studying in a greater education and is currently pursuing her dream to be a doctor. Her life seems ideal while the life of another Akha I know is different.

We met a year ago at the Italian restaurant where I applied for a job as a waitress and had worked there for half a year; he was one of the pizzaiolis. We had been friends and I eventually found out that he also lived in Doi Chaang and was the Akha too. People always think you can earn a lot of money from working at an Italian restaurant but that is only in case you are professional, and my friend wasn’t. The salary he recieved could be pretty low. I once asked him why he wouldn’t find another job; he looked at me and replied “because I didn’t finish a high school so I can’t apply for a better job. I could study until Matthayom 3 and then I had to work to earn some money to support my family, I have no choice”. As I was listening to him my tears welled up and I began to realize that there were still a lot of people who need an opportunity.

Although these anecdotes about inequality of opportunity I have seen and heard depress me, they also inspire and urge me to give others an opportunity. At the age of seventeen, I have to confess that I can’t do much. I can just help them by writing or telling others about them and enlighten them with knowledge on the subjects that I know, thus they might be able to use this knowledge to seize their opportunity. All the same, when I grow up and have more to give, I know I would try to support equality, especially equality in opportunity, and try to help those who are in a needy state. I could even change the world for them, if we could change the world…

Hearing Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody echoing in my head, I found myself getting off the bus to experience the touch of a daybreak which welcomes me back home. I’ll have to say goodbye to the world through the windowpane for now but I would look forward to it. It’s always great to dream about what we can do although I know I won’t just dream but also take action…Changing the real world isn’t as easy as a wave of the wand but there’s always the possibility.

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A girl,living in Thailand, who discovers her ultimate exuberence via reading. Many of her favorite writers have shared their incredible experiences with her and inspired her to write. She isn't good at writing in English but she is trying to write because,like her favorite authors, she wants to share her thoughts and what she have seen with people that live in the the different parts of the world. Introduce them to a world that might be completely new to them and sometimes,unbelievably, parallels with their world.
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