Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Mike gave me a copy of an article in the Puget Sound Business Journal reporting on the pledge of cousins Stan and Alta in the amount of four million dollars to the University of Washington Law School "to establish an institute to improve human services around the world."

My first thought was our family has come a long way from grandfather B. who in early life was a cooper's apprentice shaping barrel staves and after coming to America went farm to farm with a horse and wagon bartering for scrap metal and animal skins. Grandfather often slept in barns and ate meals offered by the farmers on their back porches.

But reading even further, I was impressed by Stan's quote:

A lack of basic human services, many of which are widely available to the wealthy, is preventing the poor from improving their lives. Ensuring those services is a smart foreign policy that will save lives and earn a great deal of good will."

Over the weekend I attended the high school graduation of a young man adopted at birth by an American family after being abandoned by his birth mother, a Central American Indian, at a mission hospital. This was her seventeenth live birth. With her husband, children and a grandchild, twenty people shared space in a one room shanty where they lived on a bare subsistence level.

Mainly due to poor nourishment no one in the family including the parents was over five feet tall. This biological son is approaching six feet. With the love and encouragement of his adoptive parents and siblings he is off to continue his schooling and will have meaningful life.

Traveling in Europe, I remarked to my wife, "There are statues all over to people who have lead armies to war. Where are the statues of people who have prevented war?"


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