Monday, March 10, 2008


Last night I saw the movie, The Kite Runner, the story of the lives of two boys growing up in Kabul, Afghanistan, before, during, and after the tragedies of Taliban rule. It was a powerful film evoking a series of emotional responses, sorrow, grief, and disbelief, as well as an overwhelming sense of appreciation of my own circumstances.

How fortunate I am to have been born into this country at this time. I have never experienced a war fought in our cities and countryside, have never experienced the horror of an oppressive military or government regime, and have never had to fear for the safety of myself or my family on a daily basis. I have never been without a home, without food, or without cloths. And probably more important than anything else, I have never been without hope for the future.

I have had opportunities my parents never had. My children have opportunities that most of the children alive in the world today will never have. I no longer ask myself why this is; the answers, if there are any, are beyond my comprehension. But I do feel a strong sense of responsibility to those far less fortunate than me. Although as one individual I can do little to make changes in the world’s circumstances, charitable support, voting, and civic participation not withstanding, there is something I can do. I can show my appreciation for my good fortune by taking advantages of my opportunities and circumstances which are too valuable to be wasted.

It would be difficult to stand before all those who have suffered so much in their lives, but it would be even more difficult to do so if I felt I deserved or was entitled to my good fortunes and not only took them for granted but squandered them.

I have always felt this responsibility to my parents, not a burdensome obligation, but one that I have embraced as most worthy of my efforts. The Kite Runner reminded me that my responsibility extends far beyond my parents.

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