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Child’s struggle reminds us that we are one people

POSTED: September 1, 2011 1:00 a.m.

Regarding Dick Yarbrough's touching column about the short life of Abby Smith. Mr. Yarbrough really hits the issue of trying to empathize with others who may not be as fortunate, and, in describing young Abby's life, he brings out some truths we can all learn.

First, if we could all look at each other as human beings and see each other's eyes, rather than our skin, we will see the humanity in each other. Abby's crystal blue eyes, means the author saw her as a human, not as something else. If we all see each other eye to eye, we will see past the superficial to the holy, finding the soul of the other. Once we can see each other clearly we find we are not so different.

Abby's bravery, overcoming the horrible odds she faced to not only fight through her illness and still touch others, is testament to a will that we all need to find in ourselves. When life does not match our expectations, we can remember that others fight much greater odds, each of us have battles to overcome and a positive attitude can help us to stay together.

We do not face our darkest days; we face troubles. Keeping in context that others face much harder circumstances than ourselves, maybe we can find a few minutes each year to reach out and touch someone less fortunate than ourselves.

My thoughts and prayers are with the Smiths, though I do not know them. I do know that as a society that we have to help families that face such horrible loss, no matter their circumstances. A country that allows sick children to see a doctor, get medical help and support the family of the child throughout the challenges they face is a country that invites community. The family should have the basic right to health care, and the ability to move forward with their surviving children, regardless of their economic circumstance or employment status.

I hope the best for this family, and all those who suffer under such circumstances. No doubt the void left in their lives will take years to heal.

It should not matter what church one attends, what messiah or teacher one follows when a crisis of this nature strikes. I cannot believe that a loving Chinese God would reject little Abby because she has blue eyes and was an American child, just as a Christian God would reject a Chinese child suffering the same outcome. We are all just people, wanting to love and be loved.

As we read in this paper every day, people will consistently blather on about the "others." This is the big lie. Just as so many great teachers have taught us, the others are really ourselves. Abby was a club member of humanity. We should all offer prayers and support for healing to her family, and to all families who suffer such tragic loss, no matter our race, religion or status. We are, after all, a community.

Jason Shreeram
Gainesville



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