So, how do you see yourself this morning? Are you rich with possibilities? Are you grateful for all the riches and blessings bestowed on you by a benevolent providence, family, contacts? Are you standing in front of a mirror and examining your status in life right now?
You are young for your age? What luck!
Not luck, you say?
Did you get any help, assistance, consultations, professional interventions?
Again, I think that's sheer luck!
Did your perfect smile come naturally, without help from dentists, orthodontists? That your parents didn't insist you brush your teeth, with that special toothpaste, and even insisted you flossed between teeth and used that rinse? And they checked that you did?
There was knowledge, support and caring there for you.
For many children I've known, tooth tending was not part of their daily routine. Money for dentists was not available; money for toothbrushes and toothpaste was not available. Many children I've known didn't even get the first well-baby visits after their birth. Their mothers brought them home, and soon after these same children became a burden she could not manage. You see, she was barely a child herself.
I wondered many times what she could have done differently when she told me she was dropping out of school at fourteen. I reminded her that school was mandated until eighteen. That's when she told me her uncle had raped her and now he was in jail, and she was sent away to live with her grandmother who might help her raise the child so she could continue attending school. She was not the only child I've known who quit school at an early age and never returned.
And then I thought how close we all are to perdition, at some point in our lives. How, if not for the help of a relative, or a good friend, we could not get money down for our first used car, so we could get to our job, to school, to the doctor.
I know my path is full of good Samaritans.
I know my husband started back to college with the help of the GI Bill. Only with that help he was able to get an education. He and I attended graduate schools on scholarships and loans. His father provided for money down for our first home. Without that help, we could never save for that house.
So, you see, most of us are flawed from the time we are born. Without the help of family, churches, friends, and lucky breaks, we could not make the journey successfully.