Jaime Glandon sent me this truly moving speech that her 13 year old son wrote for school.  I had to share it with you.   After you read this, please leave a comment and let Coleton know how his speech made you feel.  We need to let him know how great this is.

Africa
By Coleton J. Lytle
It’s a subject that I love to talk about. It’s my favorite place in the world. Waking up and feeling the warm air and no humidity. Looking at the African sky. Knowing everyone that you know is halfway around the world, but not really caring. Walking through the huge crowds of people. But mainly….the poor. The orphaned. The diseased. The homeless. The widow. They all are related in one way. They are the suffering. They are the ones I wake up and fall asleep thinking about. A lot of people think music is my life. That all I do and all I want to do is play music. They’re wrong. Music is like a shelter, a tent in the backyard, or a hotel to get away to. But in Africa, with the suffering, that’s my home. That’s my life. I’ve been called crazy, insane, out of my mind, and even stupid for going over there. But in all honesty, I love it there more then I do here. I don’t get how we can sit around and eat and drink all we want, but half way around the world people are eating trash so that they can live another day. They are drinking water that might end their lives but they have to. That’s not the main problem. The problem is, people KNOW. They KNOW people are DYING. They KNOW about these DISEASES, and they certainly KNOW about the WARS and POVERTY. All of this. The death, the disease, the war, the hunger, and the poverty. It’s a preventable and avoidable disaster. But it’s because people don’t want to see it, so they turn a cheek. They want to sit in their homes, schools, and churches and pretend its all ok. But I believe that when we ignore the orphan and the widow, it’s us who are taking their family. When we look away from the homeless and the poor, it is us who rob them. When we turn a cheek to the people eating trash and drinking unhealthy water, it is us who are polluting them. When we see the child soldier but decide to do nothing, it is us who place the gun in his hands. When we refuse to hear the cries of a mother who is holding a child that she has infecting with the same disease that will kill them both, it is us who are infecting them. When we don’t listen or pay attention to the voices of the lost and denied, it is us who reject and deny them. So, you can pretend its ok, rob the poor, pollute the dying, take away the family of the orphaned and widowed, place the gun in a child’s hands, and infect a mother and her baby, or you can defend the defenseless, give life to the dying, take the gun and the war and the death away. You can listen to the voices and cries of the lost and denied. You can deliver hope to the hopeless. We are all human. Bono once said, “Where you live shouldn’t determine IF you live.” So as you read this think, have you listened? Have you helped the ones in need? Have you defended the ones who can’t defend themselves? I mean, how are we any different? I guess all I can say now is, when we forsake the poor and needy, we are just forsaking ourselves….

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