little choices 2


This year I spent a week in Cambodia working with Transform Cambodia. It was a challenging week for me. I played with the children, and taught them. I chatted with the staff and the curriculum developers. I tried to learn everything I could while I was there.

But nothing prepared me for the challenge when I returned home. I was confronted everywhere I looked by the wealth of our country. I was confronted by the things we see as rights (such as health and education), which other people have to fight for. I was confronted by excess and waste. I was confronted by privilege and indifference.

And most of it has been my own!

I have been slowly processing that week in Cambodia. It is settling into the depths of my spirit and etching scars on my soul. I am not the same.

But the task is huge, and I am just one person and I have other commitments. In some ways it would be easy to say “this is all too hard, it’s too big a problem, Cambodia is too big a country.”

Goodness, even the organisation I visited has taken on a huge task. I was amazed at the scale of what they had done, and conversely what is still to be achieved .

So, I could choose to continue as if this didn’t matter. I could choose to go on with life as before. I could choose to say “that was an interesting trip, we are so lucky, we are so privileged”. And then do nothing with that.

But I haven’t.

I am still working through things and much more will become clearer as I go on. But for now I have chosen in little ways to make a stand.

I have chosen to go through the stuff in our house and donate once more to the Salvation Army. I have chosen to have the hard conversation with my children. Letting them know that their bathroom is the size of someone’s house in Cambodia. I have chosen to talk to people about how I can help further. And I am investigating options that will help in more tangible ways.

These things may seem small, and in fact they are in the face of the task ahead. Yet, I am making little choices, because I believe that little choices have the potential to make a big difference.


About Jodie McCarthy

Jodie is a writer, speaker, poet and mother. An unashamed words girl who writes to process the myriad of experiences of life. In her writing and on her blog she investigates the journey of life: the beautiful; the painful; the everyday; and the mundane. She has a heart for encouraging women on their life journey, particularly when that journey traverses the harder places of grief and pain. On the days when she is not writing you will find her in her kitchen, usually licking the beaters from a chocolate cake. You can find her books and follow her journey at

2 thoughts on “little choices

  • Bronwyne

    I am so with you Jodie
    I recently attended the Fresh conference which really clarified a personal shift I’ve been experiencing. We are bombarded daily with so much superfluous “stuff” that we supposedly need. We subconsciously take in advertisers messages and feel like failures if we don’t have what’s on offer.
    The more we have, the more complicated life seems to get.

    There are so many people in this world suffering the lack of basic necessities, so I’ve taken on a personal challenge to stop paying for unnecessary “stuff”, to consciously choose not to ‘buy that cute top’, and to put the money saved towards my chosen charity. It’s easy to feel like your small effort won’t make a difference but think again; what seems like a small amount to us, makes a huge difference to someone who has nothing. It can mean the difference between eating a bowl of rice for dinner or eating nothing at all.

    We truely live blessed lives here in Australia.

    • Jodie McCarthy

      Thanks Bronwyne,

      Fresh was so inspiring and challenging wasn’t it. And I love your last point, it’s so good to remember that what seem like little choices to us are really the difference in another country between having food or not!


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