Men In One Chart
UPDATE 06/23/2015: It's hard to believe that two years ago Batkid burst upon the scene to save Gotham City from the forces of evil. Now this weekend Miles Scott -- Batkid's not-so-secret alterego -- makes his silver screen debut in Batkid Begins.
It seems like only yesterday I noticed one of my friends posted links on her Facebook wall about Batkid. The next day (Saturday), I posted the above Venn diagram onto my blog here and linking it to StumbleUpon.com. I just thought that the image was cool. I was a Batman fan when I was Miles Scott's age. I really thought nothing of it.
It didn't really hit home until the following week when my blog received a huge spike in traffic that I realized what an amazing gift the Make-A-Wish Foundation, the City of San Franscio and so many other groups and individuals gave Miles (the young cancer survivor) and his family that fall Friday.
As I reflect here now, I'm reminded of my father who died of cancer in 2012. Why God took him, I don't know. He works in mysterious ways, you know? Dad won't get to see his grandkids grow up, but we can still show them pictures and share stores about him. Before he passed away, he did hand down much wisdom to his congregations, our family, our friends, and me, of course.
One thing I remember about my dad was the television game show "Queen for a Day." When my father was a child, television shows were in black and white. There were also only three television channels, not hundreds like we have now. Life was tough back then. ;-) Because Baby Boomers like him used to watch "Queen for a Day" on television as kids, he used to use this show in sermons to illustrate how God's grace works (or doesn't work).
The contestants on "Queen for a Day" were mostly adult women. They appeared individually to reveal -- before a nationwide viewing public -- their personal financial hardships. The studio audience would then select winners based on the stories told. According to Wikipedia, the prizes would oftentimes be medical care for the worthy contestant's children who had chronic illnesses.
My dad would lament that the show placed unfair conditions on who received such "royal treatment." There were more American women in need than contestants. The prizes, too, he worried, might not generate enough relief for the deserving winners as they returned to their daily grind. Companies would also donate prizes like kitchen appliances, clothing, and maybe vacation trips. But what good is another gadget? Why not just send money?
I think the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. lamented this same thing, too. Back in the 1960s, most European-American women in the United States generated less income than those today. That goes double for African-American women. Dr. King's solution to such income inequality was to give every American citizen -- regardless of race, class, creed, color, and gender -- an annual guaranteed income. King said, in his final book, Where Do We Go From Here: Chaos or Community?:
"The problem indicates that our emphasis must be two-fold. We must create full employment or we must create incomes. People must be made consumers by one method or the other. Once they are placed in this position, we need to be concerned that the potential of the individual is not wasted. New forms of work that enhance the social good will have to be devised for those for whom traditional jobs are not available." (The bold lettering is my emphasis.)
I believe that in 100 years, our descendents will look back on today's corporate culture in shock, thinking, "Why did corporations not give every American an equal chance of buying their products? Why did they allow people who might have lost their jobs through no fault of their own to wait in line, fill out tons of paperwork, and stress out over finding a job which actually might end up preventing them from becoming consumers? It makes no sense."
It is no wonder then that we looked on little Miles Scott with perhaps more envy than awe. At least I do. I mean, he got the opportunity to play a millionaire who saves the day with more resources and equipment at his disposal than imaginable. Granted, no one would have asked for leukemia. But then, no one asks for poverty. The good news is we know we can cure poverty now.