Writing 101- Write about a treasured possession
I got a bit depressed when contemplating my options for “the most treasured possession”. I realised that I don’t own much, most of it would fit in the back of a van and has done on several occasions.
In over half a century you’d think I would have accumulated a lot of precious stuff, but I’ve never really grown attached to things,although I do get attached to people. So not a material thing then, I had to think of something else. My family and friends are the things dearest to my heart but I wouldn’t class them as possessions, I don’t own them or control them (fat chance!) but I do treasure them. I try to keep them safe and nurture them as best I can. I have a few mementos: the teapot with the broken handle from my mother’s china cabinet, an Arran cardigan that my grandmother knitted for me when we visited her in Ireland when I was twelve and my late son’s paintings which remind me that the line between genius and insanity is very fine…. but nothing that needs to be hidden away or stored in the bank.
Then, while watching the news (an excuse to stop writing a difficult piece, you writers know how it works!) I was appalled by what was going on in the world and remembered my Mother’s advice,usually given when one was feeling sorry for one’s self “Count your blessings!” so I did.
1.Most of my family live close to me and I see them often. We don’t live in a war zone and are not in any great danger.Three of my children are alive and well (from my lips to God’s Ear)
2. All of us have a roof over our heads, we are not refugees or displaced persons.
33 When I opened the fridge to get breakfast,there was food there.
4. I don’t have to walk three miles , twice a day, to fetch water that’s not fit to drink.
5.I can walk ,under my own steam, as far as I need to.
6.I can still work to make a living.
7. I didn’t have to pay for my cancer treatment (well apart from taxes and NHS contributions)
8. My husband is still here after thirty five years of putting up with me.
9. I’ve learned to live with myself.
10. Still watching the news, beware this is shocking – that my family did not practice FGM and remove my clitoris when I was a girl!
Perhaps I do have a treasured possession!
In my opinion FGM is an appalling practice which causes suffering and violates basic Human Rights. It is wrong for so many reasons.
“Between 100 million and 140 million women and girls are thought to be living with the consequences of female genital mutilation, according to the World Health Organisation.
FGM is defined by the WHO as “all procedures that involve partial or total removal of the external female genitalia, or other injury to the female genital organs for non-medical reasons”. It is recognised as a violation of the human rights of women and girls. In December 2012, the United Nations general assembly unanimously voted to work for the elimination of FGM throughout the world.
“It reflects deep-rooted inequality between the sexes, and constitutes an extreme form of discrimination against women,” says the WHO. “It is nearly always carried out on minors and is a violation of the rights of children. The practice also violates a person’s rights to health, security and physical integrity, the right to be free from torture and cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment, and the right to life when the procedure results in death.”
Sarah Boseley, health editor
theguardian.com, Thursday 6 February 2014 07.00 GMT