Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Quit focusing on the Miley Cyruses of the world and look to young people like Brendan Foster

One of God's great justices in the world is that children who get leukemia have a 90 percent cure rate.

People like me who get this killer at 47 years of age don't have a very good chance of living, particularly when you can't find a stem cell or bone marrow match. And that's fair. We've been able to live a lot of life.

So it was with great regret that the world learned that 11-year-old Brendan Foster died from this cancer of the blood. But this incredible young man left a remarkable legacy that I won't forget and will use to keep his memory alive down here now that he is free of cancer in heaven.

Brendan's last wish was to feed the homeless. He could have asked for a trip to Disney World or to meet the president. (Well, perhaps not the current president since he is letting Secretary of Treasury Henry Paulson run the country and bail out more Wall Street fatcats.)

But the young man was still thinking of others as his life was slipping away. His selflessness was an inspiration. And his focus on the homeless was appropriate for the economic times.

More Americans are going to become homeless, as they lose their homes from foreclosure and their jobs from consumers no longer spending. Hard times are coming and are already here in some places of this nation and state. Tennessee's governor is getting ready to throw more thousands of the most vulnerable off health care rolls and state workers off their jobs.

So Brendan's call to care must not die with him and one news cycle.

Tell your children about him. Teach your children about the circumstances that result in homelessness.

Take the focus off Miley Cyrus and other giggly celebrities. Focus their attention on those people and those virtues that build better people -- by first helping people.

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