The woman in my life is brilliant, beautiful, talented with a personality to match. She loves to read to me and thinks that I am cool just the way I am. She is also 13. Yes my daughter. She visited me after school yesterday and told me of a movie they watched. The school year is winding down and they have some spare time to do some leisure stuff now. When I was a kid, we used to watch Disney movies, or feel good family movies. Yesterday the kids watched the movie 9/11 with Nick Cage. It seemed to affect her greatly as she spent over an hour telling me everything that happened in a movie that was probably only a little longer than the time she took to tell me. It seemed to be an emotional journey for her and she was working it out as she told me so I just let her go. I guess towards the end of the movie they pulled someone out, and he was passed down a long line of people that were there to help. A rather moving scene. She said "Dad, everyone was there and they were all being so great and helping everyone". I , with no small measure of pride for my fellow man said "yeah, the world came together, and everyone was at their best during that whole thing. Then she asked the question, the reason for the whole story. She said "Why do we have to wait until a crisis to be at our best?" She explained to me how in Haiti right now, they are entering the rain season. Lots of people still have no homes or place to go. Everyone went in and helped when the earthquakes hit, rock stars did a concert for money to donate, but now they are on their own, and no one is helping. She even had a couple more examples. I didn't know what to tell her. What I have heard people say, and have even been guilty of saying myself is "There isn't anything that I can do". It's how we absolve ourselves of the responsibility.
I know an older gentleman. He is considered to be stern, crabby and mean by many. I have heard some awful things said about him. I was in his home once and I saw pictures of foster kids from different countries on his wall. I asked him about them, and he said that he and his wife had sponsored kids from less fortunate countries for years. He said that it wasn't much, but it was something. I have another friend who is studying to be a nurse, she is planing on opening a clinic in India when she is done school. She has found sponsors and has everything ready to go when it is time. I know someone else that when the food bank comes around looking for donations, they practically empty their cupboards to donate everything that they can.
These are just ordinary people, but they do not believe in "There s nothing that I can do", They believe in "It's not much, but it's something".
When someone truly wants to do good, they don't fall behind an excuse, they find a way.
It's true, not one of us can change anything really, but all of us can change everything.
I learned a very valuable lesson yesterday, and it took a 13 year old to teach me.
To answer your question daughter of mine..... Why are we only at our best in a crisis? I can't speak for the world, only for myself. And the answer is, that I will look for ways everyday, to be my best, Thank you for taking the time to teach an old dad, a new trick.