What started out as a casual project to paint the alphabet on canvases for my son’s room, became a labor of love driven by compassion and a newfound interest in the realities facing children around the globe. As the project evolved it changed my world, or at least how I saw it. The realization that I have a responsibility not just to my family, but to this life that I have been given, has become my inspiration. The children behind the issues compel me to reach farther, and to work harder. Innocence sacrificed to the mistakes of humanity feeds my creativity, empathy guides my brush and conviction encourages me to put my thoughts to paper. But at the end of the day, it is the hope that I can make a difference that keeps me company when the brush falters and the words get lost in the darkness.
The Trouble with the Alphabet utilizes a fundamental starting point for learning in our society: the alphabet. I have assigned each letter to a country dealing with profound human rights issues and life threatening circumstances. Through the use of art, poetry, and short essays, this book illustrates the many challenges that children throughout the world face each and every day. With that said, it is important to understand that human rights violations, injustices and human suffering occur globally, not just in these countries.
This book is not a revelation of new facts or a handbook for solving global problems. My hope is that it will serve as a catalyst for inciting interest, thought, and discussion for those who read it. My belief is that one does not have to be a world traveler with a frequently stamped passport to be aware and compelled to take action. Activism is not confined to to being on the ground in one of these countries. Activism is taking action in some manner, wherever you are and with whatever resources you are blessed with or limited by.
This is by no means a children’s book in the traditional sense and requires adult supervision, yet I hope that it will instill visionary ideas and promote compassion towards humanity in all people, young and old. The Trouble with the Alphabet is a book intended to shake the complacency out of society and replace it with a sense of social responsibility.