The Lottery – of Birth

I’m lucky.  You who read this post are lucky.  Very lucky.  You were born into a relatively stable environment. To decent parents. You have an education. A job.  A family.  You can travel. And if you get sick, there are doctors to take care of you. The twinkling spark that suddenly became YOU arrived just at the right moment. In the right place.  The lottery.  Of birth. 

Think about those who lived a hundred years ago. A thousand. There were few of the benefits we have today. And for many folks, they just endured.  Day by day.  Yet think too about those in our world today who are born into abysmal poverty, suffocating hunger and crippling disease.  Raised in countries ravaged by violence, hatred and injustice.  Places where every day is one arduous, painful and frightening saga.   I sometimes think — that could’ve been me.  It could’ve been you.   

I’m still at a point of wondering what we can do as a nation or we can do as individuals to somehow make things just a little better.   Whatever one’s persuasion, we can all profit by the Franciscan prayer which ends “God grant me enough foolishness to believe that I can change the world so that I can do what others claim cannot be done.”  Today is the first day of the rest of your life.  What are you going to do with what’s left of it?  It’s a question we’d do well to ponder every day. . . .