My husband usually turns on the television news as we have breakfast. I prefer not to have it on, frankly, as I can’t stand all the negativity so early in the day, but a commercial came on where there were several kids in their homemade downhill race cars. Sitting off to the side was a child about the same age, but in a wheelchair.
One – just one – of the kids in his wooden race car (complete with helmet and goggles) looks intently at the child in the wheelchair, then gets out of the car, and lifts the kid out of the wheelchair and places him in his car, and then gives him the helmet and goggles and proceeds to cheer him on.
One of the final statements coming from the generous and compassionate kid (who is now speaking as an adult in the commercial) is that he didn’t remember who won the race, but he did remember how he felt about it.
The Foundation for A Better Life, which sponsors these “lessons,” is appropriately named. When one is a better person, one automatically has a better life – dramatically and immediately, in spite of the selfishness, thoughtlessness, unfairness and meanness which surrounds the universe.
It doesn’t matter if your kid has the right clothes, a cell phone, Skype abilities, email, text messaging, a new car and so on. What matters is what truly matters to them. That’s what a parent is supposed to teach children: what should matter.
There is very little broadcast television that matters, but there is a lot of broadcast television that tears down morale and morality.
There is one ray of persistent sunshine – the one minute spots produced by The Foundation for A Better Life. These are the most touching, moving, elevating, lovely video essays you can imagine.
The one I saw in the middle of watching the 5:30AM morning news showed a ferocious scene of a very physical professional hockey game. The scene then shifts to the locker room where all these sweaty, huge and muscular macho guys are getting ready for the next game. One of them is on the telephone, trying to hide his face and voice from the rest of his buddies. He’s clearly uncomfortable, but doing what the person on the other end of the phone is asking him to do: sing the “itsy bitsy spider.” The scene cuts to his little daughter giggling with delight as Daddy sings to her while Mommy holds her on her lap. Daddy finishes the song, and tells his daughter he loves her. He hangs up to find his buddies surrounding him and doing the hand motions of the itsy bitsy spider going up the water spout. He says “Hey, it’s my girl – my daughter,” and all the guys smile like crazy.
It’s just so lovely. The Foundation for A Better Life has a website – check it out at www.values.com. Look at their archives. Be touched and moved like me, and be elevated in your mood as you try to survive the moral decay of our society. There is a light!