I’ve been watching as so many of the people I follow on Facebook and Twitter have gotten swept up in the excitement and magic of Make-A-Wish making Gotham dreams come true in San Francisco. This kid and this city, and throngs of people, offices, and companies have rallied to help make a dream come true for all of us to see.
Who hasn’t watched a movie unfold or followed a story and remembered a time when you wanted your face to appear on the jumbotron at a game, or you wanted your name called and the Homecoming crown put on your head? Maybe you wanted your parents to not get divorced or for your brother not to die. We’ve all made wishes.
As we get older there is the almost inevitable weight of realizing that life isn’t fair. You see people die far too young, you witness hints of abuse, read stories of genocide, serial rape—it’s easy to get worn down by the futility of it all.
I saw a few tweets suggesting that all of this expense, energy, and focus was misplaced. They said it obstructs from the plight of the homeless and sick in San Francisco. I can understand getting upset about lopsided awareness, or a perceived extravagance, but I think that misses the potential of this particular groundswell of faith.
When was the last time our country was rooting for something together? We’ve gotten so accustomed to fighting and attacking that it seems pointless to even have an opinion, or if you do, it certainly doesn’t feel safe to share it.
So now we have this kid, this beautiful young boy who was alive but 18 months before he had to stare down the foe of leukemia. There are other sick kids, many of them dying. I know that giving this wish doesn’t change that, but my gosh, we are all feeling something together.
We are crying for his dream. We are weeping for his hurt. We are watching and cheering together. We are seeing each other as participants in something bigger than ourselves and as being on the same team.
Maybe this doesn’t change any endings, but what if we let it forever alter the story? What if instead of decrying something, you put your power to making something better or to creating change.
This triumph of spirit and vision in San Francisco can be signal for all of us. The sky is lit up, our hearts are open wide, and what we have before us is proof that dreams can come true and that happiness can be contagious.
Let’s move into tomorrow with an eye toward those who need a little magic and a promise that we’ll turn more toward that Bat Signal than the fight clock.
Find an organization in your town to support. You can try calling the United Way or Make-A-Wish, your local hospital foundation may be able to direct you to organizations in your town. Or think even more locally, are there people in your neighborhood who could use your help? The other night I discovered a local organization supporting families coping with Cancer. Create your own, or simply go out of your way to give back.
I guarantee that there are people who you can be helping and help does not always mean money, your time, your ear, there are so many ways to provide a cushion in someone’s life. If you were watching #SFBatkid today, consider that you’ve received the call.
Go, answer it.