Martin Luther King, Jr said:
Any movement – any culture – will fail if it cannot paint a picture of a world that people will want to go to.
This quote is as important today as it was when King said it. While I can picture the world I want to live in, painting it isn’t possible, I’m not that skilled with a paint brush. Therefore, words are all I have today.
Being disabled, there are many tasks that are difficult or time-consuming for me. I don’t give it much thought ordinarily but recent events have shown me that my disability has opened a door for bridging the gap between the world most see when they look at the world around them and the world we wish we saw.
One example of this is the simple task of mowing and trimming the grass. I get the job done, but working from a seated position the mower is awkward to push as the handle is too high from my advantage. The trimmer is the same situation. My arms and back tire easily. I look at the task of mowing and trimming the grass as excellent exercise for my weak muscles.
On the other hand, my neighbor sees me cutting the grass and sees a hard job, one she can help me with. If she, or any of the several neighbor children, see me mowing they will come and beg me to let them take over.
In this case, I am receiving help but what do they get out of the deal? Yes, I give back in many ways from sharing my resources such as tools and know-how, to filling in when an emergency sitter is needed. They also receive the good feeling of being of service. We often forget that we are social animals who thrive best in groups.
In society today, we don’t see volunteerism. Instead, it’s mostly news clips that tell us of a good deed done in some other place.
The several of us who live along this block have learned to look to each other for assistance. We share tools, knowledge, food, and our time. With one very sick child in the neighborhood it’s not uncommon for phone calls to go out looking for someone to get the other siblings off the bus and keep an eye on them until the parent can leave the hospital.
I’ve never claimed to be a poet and so I’ve selected a few songs that represent what I picture as the world I want to see.
John Lennon says it best in Imagine.
Matthew West describes his world in Do Something.
Casey Abrams, shares how I feel about simple living and how the world would be better if we realized material things won’t bring happiness.
Not to sound like a broken record but the world I want to see is a peaceful world, one where our individuality is embraced. Children are loved unconditionally. There would be no homelessness, no sweat shops, and local communities would thrive while being safe places for every one of us. It goes without saying I want to see a healthy world where we can enjoy the natural wonders and not worry that they will be gone one day.