It Doesn’t Take a Saint

Kunk Fu Zoby Kung Fu Zu9/3/16
There has been a spirited discussion at ST regarding the propensity displayed by many “conservatives” to talk a good game instead of actually doing something to make the world a better place. As Brad has so clearly written, there is no dearth of repetitive lamentations bemoaning the world in which we live, but there is certainly a shortage of recommendations and concrete examples as to how to bring about positive change. Voting for Trump will not do it. Politics will not do it.

I believe Brad was thinking along these lines when he wrote his piece on St. Mother Teresa. While I agree with Brad’s observations on the subject, I do not believe we need to aim so high for examples of how we should treat those in need. We can set our sights lower and still be effective. The following lines give an example of what I mean.

One of the numerous activities, which the local Parks and Recreation department has instituted, is called “Fun Bunch Bowling.” At 10:00 am every other Saturday, a local bowling alley reserves several bowling lanes for use by handicapped people. Costs for the activity are around $80 for eight Saturdays. The bowlers taking part range in age from about eighteen to fifty. All are mentally handicapped in one way or another and some also have physical disabilities. Between twelve and twenty-five of these people take part every other Saturday.

As one might imagine, a group of handicapped people of this size requires some monitoring. And this is where something special takes place. The city has hired two people to organize the outing and keep an eye on things. But it is volunteers who actually work with the handicapped and keep things moving.

There is one young man who has cerebral palsy and cannot walk on his own. There to help him every week are two pretty young high school girls. One on each side, they help him stumble to a specially made metal frame which is about three feet high. They point the frame in the direction of the pins and place the bowling ball on the top of it for him to push down a curved track sloping to the floor. Down the alley it rolls, sometimes a strike, sometimes something less. Once he has bowled his two balls, they help him stumble back to his seat to await his next turn. They then move the frame to make way for the next bowler.

This morning, I saw a volunteer mother get down on her knees to help a handicapped man take off his street shoes and then put on his bowling shoes. Her daughter talked to different bowlers, giving them much appreciated attention and encouragement, which they do not generally receive from the public at large. Neither mother nor daughter personally knew any of those they were helping.

On average, about ten people volunteer their time on a Saturday morning in order to help others less fortunate than themselves. True, they don’t have to deal with crushing poverty. They don’t have to work in filth. They take no risks of being assaulted or contracting leprosy. They make no great sacrifice in blood or money. Nevertheless, they display charity and increase the portion of good in the world by some small amount.

It doesn’t take a saint to do it. Just a feeling human being.

Kung Fu Zu is a conservative prognosticator who has traveled widely and lived outside the United States. • (2675 views)

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26 Responses to It Doesn’t Take a Saint

  1. Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

    Something tells me that Mother Teresa would agree with you, Mr. Kung. One of the quotes I found attributed to her is:

    “If you can’t do great things, do little things with great love. If you can’t do them with great love, do them with a little love. If you can’t do them with a little love, do them anyway. Love grows when people serve.”

    That’s a well-written article, Mr. Kung. Thanks for reporting from the front lines instead of giving me a mind-numbing intellectual discussion on the ten varieties of compassion. (Or are there twenty?) You have injected a meaningful note in the usual white noise of the blogosphere. I had that in mind for this site. It hasn’t really worked out that way. But thanks for once again setting a fine example.

  2. Timothy Lane says:

    An interesting article, particularly from the point of view of a physically handicapped (only mildly so far) individual who has his own bowling ball. (And I plan to take it with me when we downsize to an apartment.)

    • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

      Dennis Prager has said before that he thinks there are two kinds of people: the decent and the indecent.

      Consider how handicapped children evoke the need (in some men or women) to help. As they say, no man stands taller than when he stoops to help a child.

      Contrast that to those who want to kill the unborn…the most helpless of all children.

      I like reading reports like this. Mr. Kung knows from conversations we’ve had offline that my faith in humanity is not exactly at a peak right now. I read something like this — about real people and real life, not parsing how many conservative angels can dance on the head of a pin — and I’m encouraged (the root: to give courage).

      So, thank you, Mr. Kung, for not making my eyes glaze over. In my opinion, no writer stands taller than when he gets his own ego out of the way for the telling of a good story or anecdote. Well done.

      • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

        no man stands taller than when he stoops to help a child.

        My favorite saying is from Aesop.

        “No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted.”

        He had many further words of wisdom.

    • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

      Heh, even people in wheel chairs sometimes bowl.

  3. Gibblet says:

    Thanks for the story KFZ.

    We have a large developmentally disabled population in our county who meet regularly for fun and activities. One of the most funny and heartwarming things I have ever witnessed was their Halloween Costume Party. There were about 250 people in attendance, having a great time admiring each other’s costumes and playing games.

    Speaking of bowling, a few years back at a women’s retreat on a former Naval installation at the Pacific Coast, we had a bowling “tournament” in the little 4 lane alley, complete with disco light ball and really loud music. But it was not your run of the mill bowling. It was Freestyle Interpretive Dance Bowling! It was hilarious to watch. Somehow I came home with the gold painted used bowling shoe trophy, which I got to keep for an entire year until the next retreat.

  4. Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

    Thank you once again, Mr. Kung, for writing something that doesn’t make my eyes glaze over and is informative and entertaining.

    I ran across another article that meets this pleasing standard: A Labor Day Salute to the Missouri Mule.

    Because I’m being a little more discriminating in regards to articles I’m willing to take the time to publish (and it does take time), I may start a “Best of the Web” section featured prominently, with hopefully the ability to give a brief description. But if anyone wants to know the kind of stuff I’m looking for, read this article of the mule. It’s informative, entertaining, and certainly intersects on Americana. Well done, Andrew B. Wilson. I thank you for taking the time to write something like that.

    • Timothy Lane says:

      A very interesting article; I had thought oxen were more important for pulling the coaches. Incidentally, the offspring of a stallion and a jenny (female donkey) is a hinny. I gather they’re not as handy to work with as mules.

      At the battle of Wauhatchie (a Confederate night attack during their siege of Chattanooga), some mules (part of the supply train) happened to stampede a group of Confederates (who couldn’t see what they were). Union wags wrote a poem about the mules (a parody of “The Charge of the Light Brigade”), and jokingly gave them a brevet rank of horses.

    • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

      In every biography I have read about the greatest man who ever lived, aka George Washington, it is mentioned how much he appreciated mules. He spend much time and money trying to breed the best mules possible. He well understood the many advantages of mules over horses. One might say he started the mule breeding business in America.

      Nice article.

  5. Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

    This Christian woman actually does a lot to help others in need. She was already well known in the 1980’s when I lived in Hong Kong.

    • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

      Human societies, even when peaceful and well organized, are horrible without a principle other than power and wealth. This person is truly a subversive.

    • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

      Another aspect of this, Mr. Kung, is the sheer destruction of drug use. Libertarians are out of their minds. Instead of helping those who are in dire straights as this good soul does, through a misplaced juvenile sense of “liberty,” drugtarians wish to push others into that same dire place through legalization of any and all drugs. Only Little Monsters could think like that.

      • Timothy Lane says:

        I prefer decriminalization to legalization. That keeps the use of drugs as being regarded as at least undesirable by society, which I consider a good idea, while also accepting that in many cases, the bans do more harm (especially in corrupting the police) than good.

        • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

          Doesn’t decriminalization send the opposite message, that drugs are no big deal? Fine. Don’t put drug users in prison. I’ve seen “Midnight Express.” But the hard, adult requirement is to take the measure of both harm and good and the draw a line accordingly. Make them pick up trash along the highways.

          I read an article recently that intersected on environmental wackoism. The gist of the sensible comment was: If CO2 supposedly has a downside, then to be a fair judge one must also take account of the enormous benefits of oil, gas, coal, etc.

          I think any discussion of drugs needs to take a long and hard look at the work of such people as Jackie Pullinger and the wide swath of destruction wrought by drug use. Simply bemoaning a few crooked cops doesn’t cut it in my book.

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