Thursday, June 08, 2006

Creating a flood

No, I am not talking about the incessant rain we've had in New England lately, smart mama is has been blogging on "lighter fare" lately so here is some meat! (Yes I am getting up on my sopabox)

So Mary over at Owlhaven and a great thing on NPR got me pondering again on one of my great passions-Our responsibility for the world- not just our tiny corner of suburbia- the bigger picture.

Few things have changed my life more than living, studying, and working abroad. I have seen horrific things, I have seen the piles of dead bodies from of the AIDS epidemic, I have seen extreme poverty, I have known many children orphaned because of special needs, I have seen prostituition, pain, corruption, hunger, abuse, rampant illiteracy, the lack of access to medical care, opportunity, any education. I could tell the saddest stories, I have pictures of many tragic things in my photo albums. I take them, I keep them, so I don't forget. People don't often like to talk about these things - beyond news stories- not that we don't feel they are tragedies and or want to help but sometimes we get lazy and sometimes honestly we don't know how...

I am passionate about providing my children with experiences to see beyond the opportunity laden, comfortable world of their existence to realize the incredible weight of responsiblity that is on them to give more, do more, and leave this world a better place than they found it.

We need hard eye opening experiences to cause a very healthy disruption of our priorities, a profound appreciation for all we have, and a heightened sense moral obligation to do more and do better with what we have. After seeing these things there is a constant mental struggle- in so many ways all of our lives here seem excessive. Where do we find the balance- how can we live our lives knowing how others live. We cannot carry all the weight of all the injustice and evil of the world or we would crumble under its sheer load.

One person can't solve the worlds problems in a day- but many tiny drops of rain over time can eventually cause of flood. We can try each day to think about what we have, we can question our stewardship, our accountability, we can make the time and the effort and the sacrifice (yes i said the S-word one that is very taboo in our self serving American culture) for others. If we take stock of ourselves we can find ways to make a difference- personal ways. We will become passionate about things as they touch our lives in a personal way. We need to share our skills, our experiences, our talents, our possessions, our education with others.

You know i have blogged before about my work with Operation Smile, VBF, RESOLVE, donating art for auctions, etc. I am not talking about this to seem important or good but to show we each have experiences & skills that prepare to help in very specific ways- if we all find them, if we all do them --I can't even imagine how much better our world would be- Our causes may be domestic or international, they may be in any number of areas, we may support them in any number of ways.

We each have seasons in our lives to devote our primary energies to various things - right now my season is the fairly consuming one of young motherhood. One of our family values we teach our boys is that of accountability, the importance of doing much good of your own free will, we also teach them of service, of love, of the importance of knowledge. Hopefully this teaching will make the world better as "i mutiply" the minds committed to change. I try to involve them as much as possible in opportunities for giving and sharing their time and talents now. I speak often of my experiences, and my commitment to be involved. When my boys are grown it is one thing i want them to remember me for.

The other month another woman on NPR was talking about our cultural shift as we have become a 2 income family society- there is rapid decline in community and civic involvement. We are too busy about the causes of money to be about the business of care and how this is impacting our society. I want to reverse this trend in a time when we know greater technology, greater education, greater leisure we should be more committed to using our time, education, resources for good.

We all need the reminders--Can we forgo that dinner out or new clothes and send that money somewhere great like here. Can we spend a few moments today helping our kids do something or making a plan as a family to be more involved or searching out a cause that has touched us or group who can use our skills. We can find ways to help even in the busy seasons of our lives.

So today- let's stop and think-- let's be the raindrops- let's create the flood!


Gabriela said...

Great post! One of the things most that I love about living abroad is that my kids are seeing different places, people, cultures in their formative years and I believe that their lives will be blessed for it. They have no notion of having minorities in their classes because THEY are the minority. They see not only poverty, but people who are happy despite their unfavorable circumstances. I wouldn't trade it for anything.

again, I really admire you for all of your worthwile projects, I don't know if I would be that involved if I lived in the States. Te felecito!

Nettie said...

Well said! You are, of course, a great example in this to us, as well as to your children! I think it is tragic that people are volunteering less. I also see those who are killing themselves trying to take up the slack. It would be so much better if everyone pitched in to help, with whatever talents they have. I think as life gets busier, we also have to think of our sacrifices and service in terms of quality over quantity. We sometimes spend our service time doing good things, and not necessarily the most important things.

Lei said...

So inspiring Les! My hopes are your hopes... thank you for your thoughts and convictions. They have helped ins o many ways! You're a wonderful example. :)

Julie said...

Loved this post. Thanks!