Life

What We Should Take Away From the Batkid Story

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It was a heart-warming story for a 5-year-old who battled Leukemia: a major American city, thanks to a slew of volunteers, helps him achieve a dream of saving the day as Batkid.

A 5-year-old lived out a dream this week, donning a Batman costume to fight fictional villains in a fictional city.

The event was the work of the Make a Wish Foundation, which grants wishes to kids facing life-threatening illnesses. Make A Wish’s mission is not new and there have been scores of stories before about the group helping make a dream come true.

It’s not even the first time that a child got the chance to play a superhero.

There’ll be stories like this again.

But I can’t help but think, as I read of thousands of people pitching in to help this one child, setting up multiple locations where he could “save the day”, about the size of the effort required.

Not only the effort, but the sheer level of organization, communication and teamwork necessary to pull it all off.

“By all accounts, the groundswell of civic support even caught Make-A-Wish by surprise.”

I’m glad so many people were able to do it. I’m glad they were able to help this little boy’s spirits be lifted after a battle with leukemia. I’m happy to see that people are willing to come together to do it.

I just wonder why stories like this seem to be the exception rather than the rule. Why are we more interested in pointing fingers at each other and criticizing every little thing, when we could spend that same amount of time trying to build each other up and look for ways to help?

Maybe it’s simply a matter of which is easiest. How disappointing a criteria that would be.

If people could make that much effort, how much more could we accomplish if we put that kind of effort forward in our own community once a week, or even once a month?

How many lives could we change forever?

And why does it seem so daunting to even consider?

4 Comments

  1. I am sure there are many reasons, but I think the top one is that we are love-deprived and therefore spend most of our time seeking validation through the mentality of “need more of this and that for ME” and “what can the world do FOR ME?”.
    I know in America family members say “I love you” when they hang up the phone or say goodbye, although I never felt entirely certain whether it was genuine or like how people ask how you’re doing without really wanting to know; it’s just something you say. However, in Finland, while it’s not a faux pas to tell a family member you love them, it’s really something you say to babies or someone you’re freshly in love with, or someone on their death bed. The phrase has absolutely no levity to it whatsoever, and to say it off-hand makes everyone within earshot just feel uncomfortable. It’s too familiar, even for family. I’m sure there are exceptions. I don’t remember the last time I got a hug from someone in my family. I think it was in 2011.
    Anyway, I think love and compassion and caring for others simply isn’t very highly valued qualities. You can get a discount on a product because of your job, or social status, or who you know. You will likely never get one because you have a nice personality. Hard values trump soft values, and people become focused on “what’s in it for me”. It’s not that people stop caring, as such, but they’d rather sign a check for a volunteer organization – especially if it is tax-deductible – than roll up their sleeves and do something specific themselves.
    Just a theory of mine. Rambling…

  2. I am sure there are many reasons, but I think the top one is that we are love-deprived and therefore spend most of our time seeking validation through the mentality of “need more of this and that for ME” and “what can the world do FOR ME?”.
    I know in America family members say “I love you” when they hang up the phone or say goodbye, although I never felt entirely certain whether it was genuine or like how people ask how you’re doing without really wanting to know; it’s just something you say. However, in Finland, while it’s not a faux pas to tell a family member you love them, it’s really something you say to babies or someone you’re freshly in love with, or someone on their death bed. The phrase has absolutely no levity to it whatsoever, and to say it off-hand makes everyone within earshot just feel uncomfortable. It’s too familiar, even for family. I’m sure there are exceptions. I don’t remember the last time I got a hug from someone in my family. I think it was in 2011.
    Anyway, I think love and compassion and caring for others simply isn’t very highly valued qualities. You can get a discount on a product because of your job, or social status, or who you know. You will likely never get one because you have a nice personality. Hard values trump soft values, and people become focused on “what’s in it for me”. It’s not that people stop caring, as such, but they’d rather sign a check for a volunteer organization – especially if it is tax-deductible – than roll up their sleeves and do something specific themselves.
    Just a theory of mine. Rambling…

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Patrick is a Christian with more than 29 years experience in professional writing, producing and marketing. His professional background also includes social media, reporting for broadcast television and the web, directing, videography and photography. He enjoys getting to know people over coffee and spending time with his dog.