I imagine many of us have a vision of a perfect world.
In my vision, everyone would take care of their own families, and then do a little bit more to help someone else. In this perfect world there would be a series of concentric circles where the whole world would be covered by a caring, concerned community.
What can you do to promote world peace? Go home and love your family.
Having grown up in Brooklyn, New York I know a little bit about diversity. The life lessons I learned there could never be duplicated by a corporate diversity training program. Since my children were growing up in a nice little safe New Jersey town, I couldn’t help but wonder if they would be ready for the real world? Will they understand that everyone doesn’t look like them and doesn’t have the same opportunities they do?
The decisive point came a few years ago while attending a local school meeting. A Board of Education election was coming up, and those running for office talked about how we need to be careful that the money earmarked for education be spent in our town and not in the neighboring poor community. That told me all I needed to know. I realized they were asking the wrong question. The right series of questions might have been:
1. Do all children deserve a good education?
2. If a child has a good education does that offer that child a brighter future?
3. Would a brighter future provide greater opportunity and a potentially better life?
4. Is it possible that a child with a bright future and better life will contribute to society, rather than be a drain on society?
5. Will a child with such a future less likely to be led astray and commit a crime? A crime that could affect your child?
When I heard the approach taken by leaders in this nice little community, I realized that my children were going to school with the children of parents who saw nothing wrong with that question. At that point, my husband and I joined the Big Brothers, Big Sisters organization for two reasons. One, so our children could better understand that everyone doesn’t have the same opportunities, and secondly, so that in some small way we could help and mentor children who were not living in a nice little safe town.
But something wonderful happened along the way; we met an amazing family, and two children and their mom became part of our family. So although our intention was to give, we ended up getting a lot more than we expected.
Last night ABC aired Diane Sawyer’s program Waiting on the World to Change could only be described as haunting. I would hope that everyone has a chance to view and understand that there are things we can do now to impact the life of a single child. We often wonder how we can change the world; one person can – you can.
Thousands of candles can be lighted from a single candle, and the life of the candle will not be shortened. Happiness never decreases by being shared.