She looked at me as though I'd sprouted a third ear. "Yeah...?"
"So that means you think I'm a pretty good big sister, right?"
"Well, I'm thinking of getting a new little sister."
"Not to replace you or anything," I hastened to add. "You'd still be my little sister too." She laughed, and I explained to her that I was thinking about applying for the Big Brothers Big Sisters youth-mentoring program.
I've been thinking for awhile now that my life has been too me-centered. I work, play sports, write, spend time with friends....but aside from occasional monetary and blood donations, I haven't been doing much to help make the world a better place. I may be giving money, but that is different from actively working to make a difference.
I have spent a lot of time thinking about where I could make the most difference. I am only one person, with not a lot of time, and the world is a pretty messed-up place. I think that we need to attack the root of the problem. Impoverished, neglected, and poorly educated children often become very troubled adults. I believe, for example, that if we invested more money into our schools, we (ultimately) would not need to invest as much money in crime-fighting and welfare.
Anyway, I'd love to help a whole school -- a whole city's worth of disadvantaged children -- learn to enjoy learning, have plenty of food and shelter, and be raised in a supportive loving environment. But that's hard to do. So maybe I'll just start with one kid, see how that goes, and perhaps work my way up... at least that's my current theory.
So I think I'm giving this Big Sister thing a try. I think I have a lot I could offer a little girl growing up in a harsh environment, and I think it would be good for me to spend time with a child. I spend too much time with grownups these days! So I went to an orientation last night, and it seems like a good program. I filled out an application. Next I will be scheduled for an interview, then I will hopefully be matched up with my very own Little Sister!