13 January 2017


I watched Schindler's List this week, stretched out over a few days, during naptime and when my kids were in bed.

The parallels between then and now, steeped in fascism and tyranny, are strikingly obvious. You'd have to be living in an intentional state of denial to not see it, though that's a tangent for another day.

At the end of the film, as Oskar Schindler is preparing to leave, he laments to his accountant, Itzhak Stern, that he could have saved more people. Overcome with grief, he cries that he could have sold his car, he could have sold his pin, he could have done more.

Schindler is credited with saving the lives of 1,200 people. At the film's release in 1993, there were over 6,000 descendants from those 1,200 he saved.

And yet, he mourned the fact that he kept his gold Nazi pin, certain he would have been able to save one more person with it.

I sat with that scene for a bit.

I don't doubt that I've missed opportunities to simply help because I was worried I wouldn't be able to do enough. I've sometimes been so overwhelmed with the magnitude of what needs to be done, not knowing where to even begin, that I don't do anything.

There will always be more that can be done. Always.

Needs that you might meet today, will, at some point, be waiting to be met again.

That shouldn't stop us from doing as much good as we can right now, where we are, with what we have.

On the ring presented to Schindler was inscribed the phrase, "He who saves one life, saves the world entire." The fact that there were millions of lives that he logistically could not save, did not stop Schindler, and others like him, from not only doing what he could to save those he could, but regret that he did not save even one more.

There are so many capacities to do good; very few involve saving a literal life. The same still applies: start somewhere. Do something.

You won't be able to do it all. There will always be more to be done, but that isn't reason enough to not do all you can.

Even if currently 'all you can do,' is talk to your child about what it means to be a friend on the way to school. Or remind yourself to be kinder.

It's something, no matter how small, and it matters.

Do something.

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