It was a quiet Sunday. A day that would be perfect for a question. Hey dad, he asked: can i have a playground for Christmas?
hmm. that’s a tough one One that would require a creative answer. I started by asking him to face a couple of facts. First, there is an old adage that says that the road to hell is paved with good intentionsl is true? he wasn’t sure. I told him that it was not true, and that the road to hell is not paved with good intentions. I’m not sure who came up with that old adage, but it is not true. I’d rather say that the road to heaven is paved with confession and belief Wait, that’s not my point.
You watch the local news and at least once per month they are doing a feel good story . It is a story that touches the hearts and minds of all those who hear about it. It compels those that tune in to do something. Something different. something amazing! That is not what I’m trying to say.
Often times, the philanthropic moment takes place in a church recreation center or on the basketball courts. The children are elated! the parents are moved to tears! Everyone is on cloud 9. And here lies the problem!
Why oh why does the magic moment have to take place on a playground ? And why does the star of the show have to a basketball? Are the children promised a basketball scholarship once they graduate? Is the National Basketball Association promising these kids a job after they graduate? Does the playground provide invaluable skills that the kids will use for a lifetime?
Playgrounds do not train student athletes? Do they give they offer skill trades training for kids that are not NBA bound? What happens when the kid graduates and the household income has only increased by a penny? The temporary elixir that is the basketball court has done nothing but lead the kid down to a dead end. now what ?
I’m not saying that community investment is a bad thing. it is a good thing! But there has to be something behind it. We are paving the road to depression and despair. We are setting them up for an even greater failure than the one that they will receive if we do nothing at all.