• Posted: Dec 03, 2008 13:23:31
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Once again, the season of wishes is upon us. And who would protest they are unworthy? None, I'd guess. Publicly or privately, there is something we admire and wish we had for our own. It does not matter our class or religion or ethnicity, our age or education, the size of our savings or the poverty of our indebtedness. 'Tis the season of want and none of us are immune.
Should we reflect deeply upon the nature of our desire, I'd be willing to bet that thing we desire would bring with it a way to increase our power and influence, multiply the leverage we exert, improve our chances for accomplishment, add protection from harm and disappointment. We are wise in such things. We have witnessed how such things work, amongst our friends, on TV, within advertising. Want and the power of example have coalesced in our minds. Nothing would convince us otherwise.
When the above image was made, more than 15 years ago, I couldn't help wondering what would become of these young people, toying with the idea of wielding great power. Their dreams would have been no different than any of ours. But their opportunities for choice were certainly more limited than what many of us experience. Of the few choices they had for increasing personal power, guns were among the most mesmerizing. How many would not able to resist that temptation? How many have since paid the ultimate price?
The situation these young people found themselves in is not unique to the rougher neighborhoods of Chicago. Poverty of choice and opportunity exists worldwide. Want and the power of example have already coalesced within many ruthless minds around the globe. How many will die by their hands? How many lives might have been saved if only choice and opportunity had been minimally expanded for those ruthless souls?
There is real power in things other than guns. 'Tis the season to set the example of that fact.
Saturday, December 16th, 1989