This I Believe

Gavin - Moraga, California
Entered on January 3, 2007

I’ve cried twice in the last two days. Am I less of a man for it?

I am.

But not for crying. I’ve cried twice in the last two days for two different reasons: once from empathy for a starving Ugandan child who watched his best friend be murdered by kidnappers, and once for time, and for money.

I got in a car accident today; it was no big deal, just a fender bender; but still, it shook me up. As I was talking to my dad on the phone, I realized that all it came down to was time and money, and not even my time or money: my parents’. I cried more for time and money than I did for the death of a starving child’s friendship.

Our society cries more for the loss of time and money than for the death of a child’s friendship.

We all see Sally Struthers ask us to “feed the children,” and she shows us pictures of tapeworms the length of a football field, and children whose ribs are as defined as my fingers. We cry for them, but we don’t give them our time or our money.

I am less of a man for not giving my time, and my money.

I am not mature enough to face problems on a global scale: I am so inwardly focused that I cannot see the suffering of others in the same light that I see my own.

Our society cannot see the suffering of others in the same light as we see our own.

Because I don’t see it does not mean it doesn’t exist: the problems I shirk today will still be problems tomorrow, and I’ll be no more ready to deal with them.

Being a man is about understanding these problems and addressing them, without regard for one’s self: This, I Believe.