Similarly, I am frequently struck by hearing the news of tragedy that befalls so many innocents in the world: victims of Katrina, of the earthquake and displacement and epidemic in Haiti, of the floods in Pakistan, of the tsunami in Indonesia, of the famine, genocide, disease, neglect, war, exploitation, wrongful imprisonment and poverty of millions of our fellow mankind.
Sometimes I sink into despair when I reflect very deeply about our own situation with Calvin. I consider the thumping he takes from his uncontrolled seizures. I think of the debilitating side effects he suffers from the drugs he has to take. I ponder his compromised and uncertain cognitive abilities, his visual and physical deficits and the limits, therefore, placed on him. Daily, I am reminded of—and I mourn—the loss of his ability to make true friends and to do the things that his peers can do. For my loss of the promise of what parenthood could be, and on behalf of my family, I grieve.
But then I turn my thoughts to the unfortunate, to those who have only the shirt on their back and who have lost their home, their parents, their children or their entire family. I consider the millions who have no running water, no heat, no clothes, no doctors, no schools, no human rights, no job, no food, no security, and I am deeply humbled.
Calvin, on the other hand is—and for that matter many of us are—warm and dry and fed and clothed. We benefit from outstanding medical and educational services. We have an ample, comfortable home, and clean hot water on demand. We can buy what we need—or simply desire—from the store or the Internet at any given moment. We have recreation, we have leisure, we have community. We are free. Most importantly for us we can provide for Calvin and he is loved beyond measure.
I must practice taking nothing for granted in this life. I must show great compassion and understanding to others. I must share what I have with those in need. I must be mindful of how fortunate we are. I must remember that we got it good.
|The Irish Famine by George Frederick Watts|