Reach out for a change

By AnnMarie Chacko
March 30, 2006

I remember walking home from the store one day and looking across the street. As my eyes moved up and down the street to see if a car was coming, I heard a yell. A kid, dressed in blue, was running from a group of guys all wearing red. I stopped in the middle of the street and ran back to the other side.

There were people standing on the sidewalk near a hardware store watching, as the guys in red shouted obscenities and threats out to the kid. He tripped on his shoelace and fell over face-first onto the concrete. No one did anything to help him.

The guys caught up to him and started to kick him in the stomach, in the head and in the legs. I attempted to cross the street again, and the kid got up. He started to run and headed in my direction.

I screamed and was pushed aside hard by one of the guys in red. I fell against the wall of the store. The kid in blue looked at me like he was about to help me up, but he looked behind him and kept on running.

I never forgot that young boy in blue. Even though he was in pain and suffering, he wanted to help me when no one did anything to help him.

I think sometimes we concentrate too hard on our own lives and problems that we forget there are people in this world who are dealing with far worse.

We complain about our rooms being too cold and not having any soap in our bathrooms when there are people who sleep outside in the freezing cold and don’t have access to bathtubs or showers.

We complain about having to go to school when there are kids all over the world who would do anything to have just two hours a day to learn how to speak their language and read.

We’re so lucky to live in a society where you could get anything you desire. We’ve gotten so used to living in a place where you can pretty much say and do anything you want.

What would we do if all that was taken away? What if things got so bad we had to run from our home, scared for our lives like the kid in blue? Would you want to know that there are people out there willing to help you? Would you want to have the blessed knowledge that if this all happens, one day everything will be alright again?

That’s probably how the children in Ecuador felt when those eight Cabrini students went down to help them during spring break. That’s how the Katrina victims felt when all the volunteers showed up to help clean up and rebuild their lives. That’s how we New Yorkers felt when everyone came and helped us get through the aftermath of 9/11.

Think about everything you’ve been through: the fights, the break-ups and the failures. Now think about all of the natural disasters, terrorist attacks and the war. Think about hunger, poverty and genocide.

The kid in blue was beaten up because he was wearing blue. How many more have to die, how many more have to suffer and how many more have to cry before we look past our own differences and reach out to help?

Posted to the web by Tim Hague

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AnnMarie Chacko

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