There was a program at my children's school today.
I'm not going to mention the occasion, but as I stood next to Dad, I thought about service.
Service. What we do for others - at expense to ourselves - is a far better metric of our humanity than we're apt to give it credit for.
The scariest week I ever had, and I've had a past badly spotted by regular hits of adrenaline, was a week I spent as a counselor at a camp whose campers were all referrals from either juvenile court or family services. A lot of the popular social attitudes that I carried into that week evaporated by Tuesday. I didn't volunteer to do it again, finding it easier to broker an arrangement with my conscience than interact with a set of 13 year old drug dealers and molested children.
My Dad dumped everything at mid-career and took us all to the Peace Corps for a couple years. It cost him a bundle of $, but as he explained it to us then, "it was something he (and my Mom) felt strongly that [they] needed to do."
I thought about that today, and about him as a skinny 18 year old kid volunteering to head off to Korea - because he felt it was the right thing to do.
I'll remember him on Sunday at 11:11 too.
Count on it.