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Wednesday July 02, 2003

So this is what my life has come to

When I was a little girl, I was determined to save the world. I was confident that I could do it, and I started by forming a group called the S.O.C. (Save Our Country). I presided over the group's three other members, all of whom were classmates of mine that indulged my ambition for the sake of friendship. We met on the playground, kept a detailed log book, and spoke of massive letter-writing campaigns to President Bush (the other one) to get him to stop homicide and poverty for good. I was only nine years old, and I had the master plan that would fix all of the social problems that existed since the dawn of civilization.

The S.O.C. only lasted about a year. We wrote lots of letters, but none of them were actually mailed. My parents didn't feel like paying for all of the postage. The other groups members eventually began using our meeting times for discussing the coming school dance and New Kids on the Block, and after the last day of third grade we officially disbanded. All that poverty and violence stuff was a little too far removed from our daily lives to keep our attention so long. We had more important things going on.

A few years later one of the former S.O.C. members and I spoke about our defunct group, and laughed at our nine-year-old naivete. What the hell were we thinking anyway? What group of third-graders could possible change the world? When we were that young, we didn't recognize our limitations, lack of resources, or society's unwillingness to give prepubescent Catholic school girls the time of day. And the problems of the world, they weren't permanent or unchangeable... all we had to do was care, and BOOM --problems solved. It was just that easy.

Now that I'm older, the sobering reality of the world's social problems has allowed me to see that my childhood efforts at global salvation were at best sincere, yet laughable. I know better now... some letters to the guy sitting pretty in the White House ain't gonna do a damn thing at all. I don't even bother with that kind of stuff anymore. But even now, I sometimes wonder whether I was better off as an ambitious-yet-ineffective child crusader than the wiser-yet-apathetic adult I am today. If only I could take my long-lost passion for change and scramble it around with my adult knowldege and resources... how many people out there could I help right now? A how the heck did I get here, anyway?



You can help a lot of people. You can love, pray, share, give, etc. Maybe you can't change the whole world, but you can bless your little part of it.

Stan on July 3, 2003 08:25 AM

You are right. You may not be able to change the world but you can bless the little part of it that you live in. There is genius to behold if you can balance childhood innocence and ambition with adult wisdom and knowledge.

Christia on July 9, 2003 11:12 AM