Jeremy Statton

Living Better Stories

But Knowledge isn’t Enough

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Have you ever heard of Urumqi, China?

I hadn’t either until recently. Urumqi (pronounced oo-rum-chee) sits in the far western part of China. The province, Xinjiang, is nestled between Mongolia and Tibet. The city carries the distinction of being the most remote location with regards to promximity to a major body of water such as a sea or an ocean.

photo by Wikimedia Commons

Urumqi, photo by Wikimedia Commons

Urumqi used to be an important stop on the silk road. Perhaps a place that Marco Polo stopped at on his way to eastern China.

Though remote and unknown, Urumqi boasts a population of 3,000,000 people.

The name Urumqi derives from the Mongolian word for “beautiful pasture.”

I can know all this about Urumqi because I live in an age when knowledge is easy. I discovered this information in only a few seconds through Google and

But knowledge isn’t enough.

I can also know that there are 153 million orphans worldwide.
That 17.9 million children have been made orphans due to HIV/AIDS. Mostly in Subsaharn African and Southeast Asia.
I can know that there are medications that can alter the course of the illness.

I can know that 19,000 under the age of five years die every day somewhere in the world.
That 67 million children of primary school age do not attend school.
(Stats via

But knowledge isn’t enough.

I can know that in one specific orphanage in Urumqi there are over 400 kids with special needs. 400 kids without families. Without a mom and a dad. without a place to call home.

I can know that one of these 400 is a boy who is 13 years old. I can also know that when he turns 14 in January, that his hopes to be adopted and find a forever family will end. That he will “age-out” of the system.

I can know that his time is running out.

But knowledge isn’t enough.

I can know that I don’t know for sure what will happen to him when he turns 18 and the system releases him.

And I can know that even though from my perspective, I have don’t have much to give. That I am already giving from places I didn’t know I had.

I can know that I don’t know where the time and energy to give will come from.

But knowledge isn’t enough.

I can know that I can always give more than I ever imagined.

But knowledge isn’t enough.

What matters is doing something about it.

About Jeremy Statton

Jeremy is a writer and an orthopedic surgeon. When not ridding the world of pain, he helps you live a better story. Follow him on Twitter or Facebook or Google +.

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3 Replies

  1. katina vaselopulos

    Not sure what is worst: Not letting the pain in the world touch you or feeling it deeply and strongly in your heart yet be unable to do much?
    I cannot adopt a child when I can barely support my family, but I have “adopted ” old ladies in the neighborhood who need food and company.
    God bless you Jeremy for what you have done about these children, as well as for the wonderful posts you share!

  2. I hope I didn’t make you or anyone else feel that they should adopt. Doing can be anything. We can only do what we can do. But it is important to do. Thanks for reaching out to the ladies in your neighborhood.

  3. Thank you. For doing something about it. And for inspiring the rest of us to not let this information remain as knowledge.

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