I am just barely a child of the 80s and I easily straddle the generational divide of the Gen Xers and the GenY (or the millenials). Next year I turn 40 but the last three years and this year have left me feeling like the world around me has become a truly rogue and grotesque version of itself.

Two mornings ago, my daughter (aka my favorite student) heard me talking about a friend of the family who is headed to Mexico for business travels soon. My daughter looked at me with big eyes and asked me this, "Is she going to help the kids from Mexico? Is she going to help some of those kids?"


Honestly? I couldn't even respond to her - because what can you say to something like that? What is there possibly that could be said to explain to her what is really going on to kids who look just like the many friends that she has made (and loves) at her new school.

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One thing that I will always remember of my own childhood was this song. Even more specifically, I will ALWAYS remember sitting and listening to it (on a record player) and gazing at the album art.



And here was the song that I would listen to as I would sit and just look at the album...



Perhaps you have never heard of it or you had forgotten the song all together. It was originally written and performed in the 80s to benefit what was going on in Africa for the social and humanitarian movement to help raise awareness and giving to issues related to hunger in Africa and most specifically Ethiopia. 

The lyrics for the song are here:

"We Are The World"
(performed by USA For Africa)

There comes a time when we heed a certain call
When the world must come together as one
There are people dying
And it's time to lend a hand to life
The greatest gift of all 
We can't go on pretending day by day
That someone somewhere will soon make a change
We're all a part of God's great big family
And the truth, you know,
Love is all we need 
We are the world,
We are the children
We are the ones who make a brighter day
So, let's start giving
There's a choice we're making
We're saving our own lives
It's true we'll make a better day
Just you and me 
Send them your heart so they'll know that someone cares
And their lives will be stronger and free
As God has shown us by turning stone to bread
And so we all must lend a helping hand 
We are the world,
We are the children
We are the ones who make a brighter day
So, let's start giving
There's a choice we're making
We're saving our own lives
It's true we'll make a better day
Just you and me 
When you're down and out
There seems no hope at all
But if you just believe
There's no way we can fall
Well, well, well
Let's realize that a change can only come
When we stand together as one 
We are the world,
We are the children
We are the ones who make a brighter day
So, let's start giving
There's a choice we're making
We're saving our own lives
It's true we'll make a better day
Just you and me

This song is one of the first things that came to mind as I have tried to think about the kinds of conversations I can/should be having with my daughter about the topic at-hand as much as too many topics that have come before it.

Here's the thing of it, even though my daughter and I were (not too long ago) receiving food stamps, I insist that I am a person of great privilege. And the thing of privilege is this:


One way to interpret the above is with a perspective that sees that privilege and responsibility as being not just connected to one another but also reliant on each other. In order to fully accept, assume, and enjoy one - you automatically take upon the other. So if you have (or are) privileged? You have and are responsible. If you are or have privilege? You are and have responsibility. The relationship between the two are connected such that one can't actually fully exist (and be enjoyed) without the other being there just as much.

Is privilege (or responsibility) easy to assume or accept? No.

Does assuming either of them cost anything? Uhm... Yes.

To have one, it costs you the other and you can look at it either as an expenditure or (what makes more sense to me) is that INVESTING in one pays dividends by exponential yields of the other.

Ultimately, no matter whom (or what) can be pointed to for blame, the fact of the matter is - when we all look back at this time and what is happening?

We will be more likely to remember what was done next vs. what was done to get us to where we are obviously stuck now and who is really paying the "price" for it all.

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