samedi, octobre 24, 2009

The dreams they dream

It seems as though I've listened to lots of stories about children's dreams recently as I drove around the area. Or perhaps I'm hearing what was so often there...

As far away as an ocean and a continent, as close as tears.

A high school student in a Chicago ghetto, dreaming of attending college on a scholarship, an innocent bystander gunned down as he walked home a few weeks ago.

A Russian boy penning notes in a diary -- fantasies of bread and candy and potatoes as he starved in the siege of Leningrad during World War II.

Children in a Washington charter school, wondering what it would be like if beating them up wasn't way of initiating members into a D.C. gang.

Though no area is totally safe from violence, my kids by and large don't have to worry about being shot on the way to school.

They have enough to eat -- a lot more than enough. "Remember families tonight who are praying for food" said the leader of a local youth group, as he took the sixth and seventh graders out on a local food tour, from McDonald's to Dairy Queen to the WaWa.

These children are wanting what so many of us simply take for granted.

And don't they deserve it as much as our children?

To whom much is given, much is required -- that's what Jesus said to his followers.

I happen to believe that children's dreams are sacred-- whether they are those of immigrants or rural Southerners or the mostly white, Indian and Asian kids who live near us. What do you believe?

And, more to the point, what can we (I, you) do to help other's people children survive long enough to enroll in that college, attend that prom, find the right dress for the job...or have a slice of bread without the bombs falling, and the sirens blaring and the brutal murder of hope.

No child deserves that -- do they?

mercredi, octobre 21, 2009

Views and trolls

OK, so I post this new picture on the dating site (in this case, a rather ironic name).
Personally (if I may offer a "personally") I don't think it's too bad.
I get around 150 guys viewing it -- or maybe guys viewing it multiple times. OR maybe it's the SAME person viewing it 150 times.
And about 50 winks -- mostly from trolls.
But only one man actually writes -- something like "I like your profile. You are sexy."
Well -- how does he know? Did he see something 149 other men didn't -- or did he mean to write the 27 year old in the next profile down?
Many of the men on this dating website my age want to date younger women. And they seem to spend months, even years, waiting for that 30 something to realize how incredibly virile they are. Executives, or guys with lots of money, often can actually date 20-somethings. Only I don't think it makes them very happy.
John Fowles does a wonderful job of describing this situation in a novel he wrote about 30 years ago -- about a movie producer and the starlet he's bedding. And not a hell of a lot has changed. Only in the novel...OK, I won't tell you what happens.
Apparently, from what I picked up in a recent NY Times story, men my age don't even like women their own age. But as I wrote a fellow ten years older than me: you might be missing the perfect woman your own age.
Knowing what I do about these men makes me wonder if dating is what I need to be doing.
Maybe I should take up curling, like my friend Allen.
Or fine sewing like my friend Salin (married friend Salin).
Or maybe I should try a few more craft brews.
Any advice?