by Kung Fu Zu 9/3/16
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. • (2234 views)