I DON’T LIVE IN CALCUTTA. But there are helpless people within my reach.
Some of them are kids.
Martin Luther King, Jr. had a dream. When, in honor of Dr. King’s birthday, a Kansas City school asked its first-graders what their dream was, here is what some of them wrote.
Their dreams were posted on the walls of Kansas University Medical Center, for all to see.
- “I have a dream of no more taking drugs or robbing banks or kicking kids.” —Daniel
- “I have a dream that one day people would all get together and be friends and not judge people by the way their skin is. But people still do.” (unsigned)
- “I have a dream that everyone has a place to live.” —Nadreka
- “I have a dream that nobody would have a gun and that nobody would kill each other and that nobody would kill my uncle.” (unsigned)
- “I have a dream that all children are loved.” —Cheryl
It was about eight o’clock on an August evening when an 11-year-old neighbor girl called my daughter and asked if she could come over to our house to play. I told Rebecca no, reminding her that we had been gone all day and were trying to get the house ready for my parents, who were arriving the next day.
Rebecca talked with her friend awhile longer, and then paused to ask me again. But this time Rebecca said that her friend was scared because her parents were fighting.
The little girl’s mother had locked herself in the bedroom and the stepfather had punched a hole in the wall, and another through the bedroom door.
For that moment in time, Rebecca’s friend was an orphan—emotionally abandoned, terrified, and possibly in danger.
Just as our instincts tell us when to run for safety, our spirits tell us when to help another.
A few minutes later, Rebecca’s friend arrived. And for an hour, my son Bradley and I played kick ball against Rebecca and her friend. When darkness arrived, I stood in the front yard and watched as Rebecca, carrying a flashlight, walked her friend the three blocks home.
By then, the rage of the girl’s parents had abated. Rebecca said the dad was sitting quietly on the couch while the mom frantically cleaned house.
Excerpt from How to Live in the Moment