Tonight I will have the privilege of being at Scholarship Night at our local high school. I will be there to award scholarships to five graduating high school seniors who have excelled academically, and who have the credentials and dream of going to college, but whose families lack the financial resources to send them. The scholarships they receive will make college possible for them.
Somewhere along the way – nurture, nature, faith or some combination of all three and maybe more – I have come to believe that each of us has the responsibility to do what we can to make our world better. However large or small you define world. Which brought to mind this story.
Each winter our congregation sends a group of high school students and adults to Nicaragua to help with the building of homes for families. Parents and youth expect the trip to take place and plan calendars and household expenses around it. But, that was not always the case. Years ago, when these trips were relatively new for us, a handful of people approached the lay leadership of the church asking why I was doing this. I was aware that some in the congregation were cautious about these trips, but I didn’t know they had become vocal. One of the leaders of the congregation to whom they spoke was on the trip with me. One evening, as we walked through the pathways of the rural village in which we were living and working, he recounted to me what had been said to him and the question/comment they had made. “Why does he have to be a do-gooder?” they asked.
Reflecting on their question then and again today, I wonder what the other option is. A do-badder?