Saturday, August 29, 2009

The Perfect Time to Remember those in Need

As our nation and the world marks the fourth anniversary of a time that was far from our finest hour, we also have witnessed the end of an era of a senator from Massachusetts who -- for his many faults -- put the poor and needy ahead of all others. It seems fitting these two historic events are happening and remembered at a time when the debate regarding how or if we provide health care to all Americans is the headline of every newspaper and the lead story of most news programming.

As we continue to debate the issue, I would like to ask all of you to not just remember how Sen. Kennedy asked us to remember those most in need, but also to remember the pictures that should remain engraved in our minds of people losing their lives in a major US city because they lacked water, food and medical care. Just a few hours ago, I was welcoming volunteer dad back from a quick overnight trip to our nation's capital where he learned more about the importance of equality for all Americans when I saw him weeping. I was preparing to curl up beside him on the couch and I saw tears rolling down his face. "What the hell is up?" I thought. I turned to the TV and saw dad watching a special on New Orleans moderated by Brian Williams. It was powerful and sad. I saw people dead in the streets of this wonderful city. There were images of mothers with babies crying and thirsty. The elderly having their hands held in the heat of late August in Louisiana by loved ones in need. And Brian Williams said something that I’ll never forget: "I'm a husband and father of two children. And these children in New Orleans have the same worth as mine. But at this time, they did not." And my fans, that's what we should keep in mind as we determine our nation's future. I had a disagreement with Uncle Mike this week and he made a statement regarding compassion over the health care debate and government. He talked about not looking to government for compassion. I think I was wrong, Uncle Mike. After watching the New Orleans program tonight I saw that at that point in time, our government did not have compassion. You were right. And as long as we don't show compassion for our brothers and sisters, neighbors and countrymen, we're doomed to more Katrina’s.

Although I'm not one to push religion on any of my fans, I think this post deserves a bible verse to perhaps put things in perspective:

Proverbs 31:8-9
"Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute. Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and needy."

Remember those victimized by lack of compassion in New Orleans just four years ago, and I hope and pray as a nation we never ever look the other way to those in need again.