Monday, November 3, 2008

A Day in the Life or a Life in the Day?

I’m sure that we have all wondered what it would be like to be someone else or at least be in their situation. I think it is human nature to be curious about all the ‘what could be’ scenarios that surround us. This ability to ‘place’ ourselves hypothetically in other people’s shoes makes us better, in my opinion. In some primitive roundabout way, it makes us sympathize with, or criticize, others.

When I hear that somebody has just won the $200+ million dollar Powerball I think ‘wow’. And I will be the first to admit that, if I have nothing else to think about, I do take a few and consider ‘what would I do’. It doesn’t help that the some of the guys I work with are constantly testing their odds and remind me of how sad it would be if I was the only one who had to come back to work the next day; I am not convinced. But seriously, I have thought about whom I would provide financial assistance to immediately and what long-term projects I would like to start; I would like to start a full-ride scholarship program for inner-city school kids that would require volunteering at other inner-city schools as a condition of acceptance. Young kids need role models, and who better to inspire than one of their own. Kids are most inspired by people they actually interact with: parents, teachers, leaders, friends. I would personally oversee the selection and monitoring process; to see the progress that these young people can make if given the opportunities. I would travel with my wife to parts of the world that need help; the AIDS victims in South Africa; refugees of Darfur; exploited children in India and others. I would start a well-funded foundation that would seek to make available a cure/remedy for the disease that plagues those I love the most. All of these things sound, and probably are, noble and philanthropic. But make no mistake that I would see places that I never could have dreamed possible and do things that I only saw in books as a child.

Every time that I see a 60 Minutes or 20/20 special about atrocities committed against children, it really touches me. Even before I had kids, I was always very sensitive to justice/fairness and especially how it relates to children. I feel for the parents, family, and friends of those little ones. I feel rage toward those who dare disrupt their lives; compassion for the emptiness that exists were a child once was; sorrow for the child who will never experience and those he/she would have come in contact with. It has become more ‘real’, if that’s possible, now that I have kids. I ask myself ‘what would I do’ and ‘how would we survive’.

Now I’m getting all philosophical. But really, it is nice to think of all the things that could be if only. But would you rather hope for a day in the life of someone else or live your life every day? Peace to my readers and don’t forget to vote!

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