It’s Something I Can Do.
While Bill and the boys played laser tag, I went to see a movie. Given that my options were Home in 3D, The Gunman, Get Hard or any one of eight sequels, I opted for a movie called, Do You Believe?
The movie profiled twelve characters from different walks of life, whose lives intersect in meaningful ways. The underlying thread is that they are all trying to find meaning through a belief in Jesus Christ. Normally, this is not the kind of movie I would choose. But honestly. Get Hard? The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel?
So I sat through the movie with the other ten people in the theater who were also desperate, and I watched. It was sad and violent and wildly inspirational. By the time the end credits rolled, I was nearly bursting at the seams to run out and do something meaningful. Volunteer, help the homeless, become a Big Sister, devote my life to missionary work….
I was ready to save the world.
Then I got in my car and pulled out of my parking space. I could hardly wait to get home and search all the volunteer positions at our local center. I pulled out onto the main road.
A minute or so later, I needed to get into the left lane. I turned on my left turn signal and looked over my shoulder. There was a van in the left lane – the driver of which saw my turn signal.
So he sat on his horn, sped up, and cut me off so that I couldn’t get into the left lane. The light changed to yellow as I pulled behind him – and he raced through it.
I thought, This is how it happens. This is why I do nothing to save the world. The people – some of whom were portrayed in the movie – the people are just so heartless. No one wants to GIVE one single thing. They’re out for themselves, trying to get ahead, move faster, be better, get richer. No one seems to remember that it’s actually all about love.
The American quest is not for peace. It’s for money and power.
And how am I supposed to teach my kids to give, and to be kind, when so much of the world is barreling through like bulls in the proverbial china shop? How do I let them be free, and make their own decisions, and watch them be stomped upon like garbage by so many half-crazed, selfish people?
I was thinking about this when the light turned green again. I moved forward to the next light. And there was the white van, sitting at the next light, stopped. Waiting for the opportunity to barrel forward again.
I looked at the driver and thought, He doesn’t know anything else. He doesn’t know better.
But he does know better. I bet his parents raised him to be kind and giving and unselfish. And then he learned, by living in this world, that speed and power and greed would provide him with “more.”
I can teach my kids by being a role model. Maybe I am not Mother Teresa, but I can be kind. I can give, whenever I am able. And if that just means letting people get in front of me in traffic, then so be it. At least it’s something. It’s something I can do.
When the light changed, the van went straight ahead. And I turned left.