We all know, on an intellectual level, that tragedies and hardships occur every day. It is easy to ignore them because they aren’t happening near us and aren’t likely to happen to us. That is why those Sarah Mclachlan commercials repeatedly show images of suffering animals; to make us feel.
Most of us do our part for those causes that strike close to home, that affect us. It is also easy to become lost in the hierarchy…starving children, melting ice caps, war crimes, terrorism, disease, disablement, species endangerment and extinction, homelessness, suicide, murder, equality, and on. All are important. We each do our part. We might make incremental changes to an incremental part of our societal concerns.
In the so horrible it is good movie “Hudson Hawk,” a character says something to the effect of, “I got tired of waiting so I saved myself.” This particular blog is along that line. I am not saying all of the causes above don’t need our help. I’m not saying we shouldn’t help. I’m not saying that some things are beyond the individual. I’m celebrating a kid who said fuck that, I’ll save myself.
There is this kid named Sam. I don’t know him. He is a nephew of a friend. He didn’t grow up in a war zone or abject poverty. He did undergo heart surgery and the loss of his leg at a young age. He did struggle against obstacles that 99% of Americans can’t even fathom.
Sam is a varsity letterman athlete and, by the comments of his aunt, a good and typical teenage boy. He didn’t win the Nobel Peace prize as another young person did, and she is frickin’ incredible, but Sam did face his own obstacles and thoroughly kicks ass.
So, when the teenagers we know whine about not having the latest iphone, or the adults we know bitch about a bad parking spot, there is Sam going, “fuck it. I got this.”
The Sam’s in the world give me hope…not just for our society but for myself. We all have our lists of challenges. We may all disagree on the severity of others’ lists, and we judge those lists, but to each of us our list is paramount. I know my list is long. Yours is too. I know a lot of Sam’s. I know a lot of victims.
On my good days, I’ll be with Sam. Fuck it. I got this.