On Making a Difference

By Dr. Mohammad Dadashzadeh, Oakland University on Aug 1, 2008

Originally published in the WFCF Newsletter, Vol. 4, No. 2, August 2008

As I write this on this first Sunday in August 2008, it is difficult to ignore the newspaper headlines. Our country is fighting two wars and there are ominous talks of entering a third. Our economy has entered a recession and foreclosure filings continue at record pace. Our city, Detroit, long venerated as the automobile capital of the world, has lost that title to Japan and the prognosis is dire. It is almost too easy to lose hope.

Farther from home, wars continue to take their toll on children. In some countries, armed conflict has raged for so long that children have grown into adults without ever knowing peace. And now, the children of Iraq, Afghanistan, and Gaza, join the millions of children from Africa who were beyond the “luxury” of childhood and became adults prematurely. It is almost too easy to lose hope.

Children bring home the impact of war more than anyone. In a poignant poem entitled Les Enfants de la Guerre, Charles Aznavour reminds us that these Children of War are like you and me living with hope – hoping that change is possible.

Ces enfants sans enfance
Sans jeunesse et sans joie
Qui tremblaient sans défense
De peine et de froid
Qui défiaient la souffrance
Et taisaient leurs émois
Mais vivaient d’espérance
Sont comme toi et moi
These children without childhood
Without youth and without joy
Who shaking defenseless
From pain and cold
Who defied suffering
And their silent commotion
But living with hope
Are like you and me

But Is Change Possible? What Can One Person Do?

Confucius says: “To put the world right in order, we must first put the nation in order; to put the nation in order, we must first put the family in order; to put the family in order, we must first cultivate our personal life; we must first set our hearts right.”

It is one thing to say we care about children. It’s another thing to put those feelings into action. Let us set our hearts right. Let us make a difference. In his wonderful essay in the previous edition of this newsletter, Gary James concluded: “It is the individual who makes the greatest difference in the lives of others, the ones who commit to the small effort, to ‘lay one brick at a time, take one step at a time.’ Will you join WFCF by making your contribution to a small effort that we hope in earnest will change the world?”

Never underestimate the power of one.

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