Thursday, March 01, 2007

Danger

Have you seen this story? Because I was looking for something to write about and wow! That sure jumped out at me.

But I don't really have anything to say about it except, wow! That's so horrible, yet heartwarming. I can't begin to imagine what all those people went through.

And there are so many stories every day of missing children. Kidnapped by feuding parents. Runaways on city streets. Snatched by strangers. And that's just here in our country. The world is not a safe place for children.

My husband, a college instructor, has a student from Rwanda in one of his classes this semester. The student stays after class sometimes to chat (which is a mixed blessing: good conversation + night class and wanting to go home), and last night they talked for about twenty minutes about the young man's experience as a child soldier at age twelve, and how Africans view America as a paragon of what a global super-power should be. As Craig said to me, "Yeah, I wanted to go on and get home, but what am I going to do? Shut him up?" Craig's mind remained on that conversation, and how this man, who grew up in a foreign land half a world away, knew all the state capitals of the U.S. before he moved here. He looks at our country as the great hope. A land which never colonized African nations. (Which is an interesting contrast to what our liberal guilt tells us about some of our country's history.)

It's humbling. By accident of birth, we are in one of the most affluent parts of the world. By accident of birth, I've never been hungry, never been homeless, never not had access to health care. By accident of birth, my children are entitled to a free, quality education.

It's easy to sit back and enjoy the privilege. It's easy to forget that our lifestyle is not the norm for our world. It's easy to look away from the "Save the Children" commercials. It's easy to turn off the TV news.

But sometimes people come into your life and remind you: you've got it great. Other people look at you as an example.

I told Craig to invite him to dinner after the semester is over. The least we can do is share his story with our family. And remember to appreciate what we have in such abundance.

2 comments:

Will said...

How refreshing to read a message of sincere gratitude.

We do have it great, don't we?


Will

anon said...

I agree, it is nice to read something that is positive. There are entirely too many rants on some blogs. Life is better than that!