As I type these words, the San Francisco Bay Area Make-A-Wish Foundation and the City of San Francisco are “conspiring” to make the wish of a 5 year-old boy battling leukemia come true. It seems that, not unlike many of his peers, the young man derives strength and inspiration from superheroes and Batman in particular. And so, tomorrow morning, with the City’s help, the Foundation will transform San Francisco into Gotham City for a day. As reported by the Huffington Post, the morning will begin with a call from the City’s Police Chief, who will enlist “Batkid’s” help in “rescuing a damsel in distress from the cable car tracks in Nob Hill.” The young superhero will then be whisked to a local bank, via the Batmobile, where he will “arrest the Puzzler for robbing a downtown vault.” From there, he will head off to lunch at a Burger Bar near Union Square, only to be interrupted mid-bite by yet another urgent call from the Police Chief directing him to look out the window, where a group of “panicked volunteers will be crying out for his help in saving the San Francisco Giants’ mascot, Lou Seal, who is being kidnapped by The Penguin in a convertible getaway car.” A wild chase will ensue, resulting, thankfully, in Lou Seal being freed unharmed at AT&T Park! The magical day will culminate with a trip to City Hall, where San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee and thousands of grateful San Franciscans will thank the by-then-likely-exhausted young crime fighter for his acts heroism and hand him the key to the city.
When it’s done, it will be only the latest (though clearly one of the more awesome) of the “wishes” that the Make-A-Wish Foundation and its supporters have helped make come true over the years. Would that all of us had the time, talent and resources to do magnificent things like this for others, not only to make-a-day, but, in some instances, to make-a-life! Imagine a world like that – one where, at least momentarily, “troubles melt like lemon drops.” The truth is, of course, that very few of us will ever have a chance to make a difference on such a grand and public scale. However, all of us have the time and the talent necessary to make a moment and, in the process, make a difference – and, more often than not, it doesn’t require us to spend a single penny to do it! In fact, as I survey the landscape of my experiences over the past 12 months (and the posts that they inspired), I can readily identify “making” several such “moments” with the most minimal investment of time and energy: http://tinyurl.com/nxmorpb (“A Simple Act of Acknowledgement And Kindness”); https://donblackwell.wordpress.com/2013/07/14/we-all-fall-down (“We All Fall Down”); http://tinyurl.com/kt7mzqe (“A Little Girl, A BIG Red Balloon And A Radiant Reminder Of What Being Beautiful Is All About”); and http://tinyurl.com/cygmvst (“One Dark Cloud”). And the interesting thing is all that was required was my being on the “look out” for an opportunity (trust me, they’re everywhere!) and my willingness to seize it.
And so I got to thinking. Why not start a movement? Why not try to assemble and inspire an “army” of “moment makers” – people who begin their day with their heart antenna fully extended, searching for opportunities to make a moment in someone else’s life, preferably, though not necessarily, a stranger’s? I’m going do it – actually we’re going to do it! Here’s how. This weekend, I plan to set up a simple “Make A Moment, Make A Difference” Fan Page on Facebook. Collectively, we’re going to get a million people worldwide to “like” it and along the way we’re going to encourage them to post the “moments” they make on the page! And then we’re going to sit back and watch the power of a moment. I’m totally psyched!