Tuesday, April 6, 2010

For the Children

This past Easter weekend was magnificent, weather wise—the temperature was at near-record highs, the sky was blue, life was good. We had a large family gathering at our home on Saturday, some 18 people, ranging in age from my father-in-law, at age 82 probably one of the youngest WWII vets (he saw service in 1945 as a 17 year old) to granddaughter Miss Sophia, who arrived a month ago. Mister Tristan was the next youngest, at just over 2 years of age.

This family, as do all families, has had its share of grief, of sadness, of tragedy….and joy, happiness, and contentment. This weekend’s gathering was happy and tranquil, and to a large extent all about the children--the Easter baskets full of treats nestled in their (fake) grass, the colored eggs, the egg hunt, the bean bag toss in the back yard….

When I think, say, of the recent issues of the sexual abuse and cover-up scandal rocking the Catholic Church, or Tiger Woods’ recent difficulties as he re-enters tournament play, I can’t help but think that if we so-called “mature” people would ALWAYS guide our actions by the credo, “Is this good for the children?” then we’d all be much better off. Especially the children.

In the case of the Pope and high ranking Vatican officials, naturally we first must observe that the actual abuse of a child, of course, is wrong. But then when they put protecting the welfare of the Catholic Church as an institution above that of protecting the welfare of defenseless children, they committed an unconscionable, unforgiveable act. When Tiger Woods chose to dally with women outside of his marriage, he deliberately chose to place his desires above the welfare of his children. Again, unconscionable.

Our children are a gift, and as children do not have the ability to defend themselves. That’s up to the responsible adults.

For the children….remember and act upon it.

To connect this to UltraRunning (and of course this’ll be a stretch!), I strive mightily to not have my ultra pursuits negatively affect my wife and family. But the fact remains that when I’m away doing ultra things I am torn between the need to be home versus the need to keep myself sane and healthy via running. Balance in all things, but whenever in doubt, the default setting must be to always choose in favor of the children.

(Photo credit here.)

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