There were so many of them around me. Their thin, brittle hands reached out to me, begging me for the fortune of some spare change. I thought, "These children have no other choice. All they have is this life on the street"; and I thought(omit) nothing and no one can change that.
I decided to give each of them a Ruble, just to see them smile. At that moment, I felt my mom’s hand on my shoulder
:there's a problem with the logical sequence of events here. 'you decided' - which is going on in your head...and 'at that moment' = at the moment of deciding, how did your mother know what you were thinking?
I reached into my pocket to give each of them a Ruble, just to see them smile. As I did so, I felt my mom’s hand on my shoulder. “What you’re doing now is just encouraging/inducing them
into staying here. Do you mean, remaining in that spot, or in a life of begging?
Think about it." She turned to the Russian gypsy children. “Where are your parents?” She looked around, then said in a very serious tone, “If you wish, you can come with me. I can show you a warm home where you will be provided with food and education. There may be more work, but it will be for a better life.” She started to lead them away, when suddenly a herd of alarmed parents sprang at us from nowhere. They collected their children and stared at us with shocked expressions. Since we were drawing a crowd, we decided to leave after that(omit); but before we did, my mom looked at the adults sternly. “If you care about your children that much, they should be in school, not on the street following in your footsteps.”
I contemplated that comment for a long time now(omit), until I finally understood: anytime I gave my small change to a child on the street, I actually encouraged their situation. Instead of working towards “education for all”, the right of every child, I am giving them a few spare coins and calling it charity. With each small token, I’m giving them an invisible note saying, “This is what you’re meant to be doing. This is your fate.” As I eat my breakfast in my warm home, moaning about having to go to my very privileged school, those Russian gypsies are sitting outside in the
frosty desert of snow, : frost forms on the ground and other surfaces when the temperature falls below freezing. It is very odd to be saying that snow is frosty.
wishing they could take my place. In reality, the only thing keeping them from being able to do so is an opportunity I am preventing them from finding. Yes, they may want to actually take your place, but it is not 'some opportunity' you are depriving them of - your mother may not be happy for you to swap your place with a gypsy so she has a different daughter! You mean something along the lines of 'have what I have'.
Just by refusing them that spare change, I might induce them into searching for that better life.
Once I understood what I should do, it caused me to think - how can I do it? What you understood was not to give them spare change - you knew what you needed to do. This needs re-wording, bearing in mind your next sentence:
I then also wondered - what other small, seemingly insignificant actions have I done
that could cause so much harm without my awareness? : You haven't actually inflicted any harm, never mind 'so much' - you're being very hard on yourself! Again, you mean 'what misguided actions have perpetuated their state, rather than inducing them to seek alternatives'.
Not long ago, I had read in a book : You have two options. "Not long before, I had read..." or "Not long ago, I read in..."
“That the native does not like the tourist is not hard to explain…pleasure for yourself” (A Small Place, Jamaica Kincaid, p. 18-19)
An ellipsis is used to show that words have been omitted from a quote...BUT the words omitted are unnecessary for the comprehension of the quote, and for conveying the meaning you intend. As it stands, the quote does not make sense. It would be better as:
“That the native does not like the tourist is not hard to explain…they envy your ability to leave your own banality and boredom, they envy your ability to turn their own banality and boredom into a source of pleasure for yourself”
Surprisingly, this shocked me, even though it wasn’t news. Many times I felt that locals in developing countries, such as Thailand, disliked me as a tourist because I am obviously so much better off than they, : If you have a privileged education, better to draw on it and use 'they' not the colloquial, ungrammatical 'them'.
and able to come to their countries for a holiday. However, I had never really explored this idea. Previously, I thought that tourism helped their economy and lifestyle. This may, in some ways, be true, since today most of those countries’ main income is tourism. Yet thinking more about this, I realized that this wasn’t always all positive. For the sake of tourism, their personal advancement is being halted in order to exhibit their ‘culture’ to me, and every time I pay them to do so, I promote this.
It struck me that I can never be really sure of the effect of my actions; and so I needed to research and analyze every action if I want to be really sure about it.: This is repeating itself, and needs rewording.
We all need to be wary with our actions, as there are many ways in which we can unwittingly foster this form of inequality.
An article about the ring-necked women of Thailand reads: “They do not want us to leave because it will hurt tourism. But I don’t want to be put on display anymore” (Marie Claire Magazine, “Please set me free” p.126). These women wish very much to be normal, modern and international, yet they can’t even get as far as discussing this issue with foreigners, as their wages will be docked. Just by being a tourist, showing interest in human attractions such as these, we may pressurize them into staying there, where they are
BRIT. Eng. in the next sentences:
sure to get money - the only favourable aspect. What’s more, we go there, flaunting our modernity and fortune, aspects of life previously unfamiliar to them. Some people believe this is beneficial to them, and(omit) that it ‘opens them up’ to the world. However, they have managed to live comfortably in their traditional ways for centuries, and now that they have seen us, it dispirits them,
making them unable to live contentedly as they did in the past. : again, a little sweeping in its condemnation. What about:
and further detracts from their contentedness with their lives.