Since we were little, making a choice has made a difference in life. Some early examples are – chocolate or vanilla ice cream? Mustard or ketchup on a hotdog? Tough enough on the average 10 year old, for sure. As we get older, sometimes those very same decision-making processes we used as a 10 year old may seem to be the same self-rationalization of how we make decisions in adult life. Some would say “well that’s because I’ve ALWAYS done it that way”, other’s would lament “but that’s how my Mother taught me to do it”. For the former, perhaps a little re-analysis of WHY you ALWAYS do things THAT way might be useful – especially if ‘that way’ tends to produce less than favorable results… for the latter, if that is the generations-old passed down to the younger way of making something that everyone looks forward to – i.e., pie, cake, whatever, so be it. It brings back memories… “I remember when Great Aunt Mathilda used to…” uh-huh… here we go. We as humans tend to look back and go “Gee… wonder what would have happened if I had done this instead of that”. Of course we all know that short of Hollywood’s numerous movies on time travel, we can’t undo the past…but we can certainly use the past to improve what/how we do things in the future.
Think about the movie “Back to the Future”… a hilarious example of ‘what if’… fortunately, nothing significant was changed, history did repeat itself to get things back in sync, and life resumed (albeit a bit differently going forward) for our hero. Michael J. Fox has shown us a more pragmatic approach of “True Grit” throughout his life as someone who deals with a significant life-impairing situation… Parkinson’s Disease. He has shown us through his own life, the ups, downs, backwards, and sideways existence of living with this, that he and his family endures. This disease and it’s other (now) well-known running mate Alzheimer’s, can strain anyone and those who care for them, to the point of “what if I had…” For sure, there are other known diseases/conditions out there that have impacted the famous just as much as it has impacted us ordinary folks. So now, the road of our life in a conceptual manner, has indeed traveled to a point of going left or right as seen in this week’s picture. The question is, what are we going to do about it? Are we going to just ‘sit there’ and do nothing? Are we going to do something? What? There are numerous ways – donations are the most welcomed form, because those funds go to the research and treatment, far more than anything else. When was the last time any political figure stood up on CNN, Fox News, or wherever and said “HEY!! I am pushing a bill to increase government support to work on dealing with (fill in the blank – MLS, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, etc.). Unless it was some obscure political district in northwestern North Dakota (no offense to anyone who might actually live there), it just doesn’t make the news. I wish I was absolutely wrong on this – and if someone could show me proof – I will run with it immediately… but it saddens me to no end that with all of the hot air that generates from DC, not one bit is ever mentioned to deal with issues that are just as ugly as what we are exposed to every time we turn on the news.
Or is it? What about volunteerism? If you can get past the part of you are only able to do what you can, besides making that contribution, what about a little bit of self-involvement? How? You’d be surprised at the number of organizations that thrive on succeeding only because of volunteers making a difference. Look at Special Olympics, Foodbank of… (which get a huge boost from a few well-known folks like Bruce Springsteen, The Doobie Brothers, and several of their friends who not just write checks, but get out there in the community and DO), Habitat for Humanity… Make A Wish Foundation… Wounded Warriors… the list is very long, but the volunteers are not always there to help.
Think about it.