We all wish for things at one time or another.
Typical answers might include money, fame, or getting that one thing we really want. These are all reasonable wishes. What wouldn’t we do if only we could have that one thing we always dreamed of? Wouldn’t our lives be so much simpler?
But our wishes for fame and fortune seem silly when we think about all of the people who are sick who just want to be with their loved ones again. People who just want another day to live or people who would do anything for a smile on their face.
There are many great charities out there that do a lot of great work. Without our support they couldn’t provide that assistance.
One such charity is the Children’s Wish Foundation. On Thursday, I sat down with Gay Oldhaver, the chapter director of the Saskatchewan Children’s Wish Foundation, about the Wishes & Dreams Tour, promoting the million Dollar Lottery. Proceeds from the lottery allow the foundation to grant wishes of children with life-threatening illnesses.
Talk about putting a new perspective on things. I know our wishes to be rich and famous would be great, but the likelihood of that happening for most of us is next to nothing.
While we might not be able to get that one thing we’ve always wanted, we can help sick kids feel better emotionally and provide an escape from their grim reality. For that child, in that one instance, being able to smile and be happy is one of the best gifts we can give.
Stories about someone doing something special for a stranger always catch my eye. We hear a lot of bad things happening. Sometimes it seems like too much bad and not enough good.
The truth is we need to know about the bad and the good, as there will always be both in the world. I think, more often than not, we need to hang onto the good, especially when there’s so much death and darkness around us.
Take what J.K. Rowling recently did as a prime example. Cassidy Stay, a 15-year-old from Texas, survived an attack on July 9 when a gunman murdered her mother, father, two younger sisters and two younger brothers. She survived by playing dead.
Days afterward, at a memorial, she quoted fictional headmaster Albus Dumbledore from Harry Potter. She had said, “In The Prisoner Of Azkaban, Dumbledore says, ‘Happiness can be found even in the darkest times if one only remembers to turn on the light.’”
After an online campaign, Rowling wrote a letter to Stay in the voice of Dumbledore and it was accompanied by a wand, a Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry acceptance letter, a list of school supplies and a signed book.
I think this is a truly remarkable and heartfelt gesture. I can’t possibly fathom what it’s like to go through what Stay did; none of us can unless we’ve been there.
What Rowling did was like granting a wish, of sorts. Especially after what Stay went through, the wish couldn’t have been better.
We might not ever become someone rich and famous. We certainly can’t change the world on our own. We can, however, make a difference in someone else’s life.
Lisa Goudy can be reached at 306-691-1289 or follow her on Twitter @lisagoudy