Monday, April 03, 2006

A New Resolve

I got a call from my son Paul today to tell me his computer is down for a
few days, and could I please post a guest piece to his site just to help
keep things moving along until he can get back online. What can a dad do
when faced with such a request? So here it goes:

I have been feeling very down lately because of all the media attention to the terrible things that human beings seem to be capable of doing to each other, often in their own selfish interest. I have had increasing doubts about the human condition and whether it was even worth salvaging. But tonight, while trying to decide what to write about, I remembered hearing the most wonderful story on National Public Radio last year. It was about a young Vietnamese man who just graduated from Hunter college with a 4.0 grade average and was going on to Harvard. He came to America when he was 19 years old after spending ten years with his family in a refugee camp. He found a job in a hardware store in NYC where the owner was dedicated to helping folks find “a first chance or even a second chance at making it in life – which includes most of us.” He made it through college while working full time, and apparently his association with work and the woman who was his boss was very much a part of his education.

This article spoke to me very deeply because it helped me realize that I am not the only person in the world who is trying to make the world a better place; in fact I am not even very high up on that ladder. As my son Paul so candidly revealed in a recent blog - "Letter from Home" - I am finding it increasingly difficult to maintain my enthusiasm for political and social
activism, which has been a passion of mine for years. But this story helped me to realize that there are undoubtedly many folks like this woman who are collectively doing more good than all the atrocities reported in the media would lead us to believe. All over the world there are those who are doing what only they can do, cheerfully and effectively. It helped restore my faith in humanity, and in the ultimate victory of good over evil. And, I might add, in my resolve to do those things that only I can do to help make the world a better place.