Fishing in the Dark...
Posted: Tuesday, Jul 3rd, 2012
I love interviewing kids. They always provide at least one light moment or two, even if youíre talking about something serious. I think thatís what we all miss about childhood--the fact that even the most serious issues can still contain a light moment or two, often changing the entire effect of the situation at hand.
On Sunday, I spent about a half an hour talking to Rawland Isabell, the eight-year old who came up with the idea to host a lemonade stand to raise money to help our local firefighters.
If youíve not had the pleasure of meeting this young man, Iím telling you that you have missed something. For all the kids who spend their days wondering whatís in it for them, this guy is a most welcome exception. (Iím not saying he never thinks like that--he is a kid after all) but any kid who can spend some time thinking about how to help finance our firefighters and then follow through with it is a special one and that ďfollowing throughĒ counts for a lot when youíre eight years old in my book.
The story is compelling in itself--but as usual, thereís more to the story and I think it probably ought to be told. I didnít mention this in the cover story but during the interview, I found out that during the week this all transpired, Rawland was not feeling well at all. Weíre not talking a little sniffle or a headache. This little guy was battling canker sores in his throat and mouth no less. If youíve never had the unfortunate blessing of such, suffice it to say that thereís no question that he didnít feel good through most of it. His grandma and grandpa, Dawndrea and Darrell Daly, told me that he was running a temp and couldnít eat much at all throughout that week. Itís one thing to have a kid get excited about an idea to raise money--but itís quite another to get them to follow through and actually do it--particularly when theyíre sick. It would have been very easy for Rawland to push the whole thing off on grandma and have just stayed home and curled up in a blanket with a remote to peruse the Cartoon Channel or PlayStation. Very easy. But he didnít and I think that is really commendable, especially given his age.
We have countless adults who canít put anyone ahead of themselves. If you read this column at all, you know how much that frustrates me.
Rawland, I salute you! Your efforts are outstanding and I thoroughly enjoyed talking to you about your dedication to this very worthwhile cause. You donít know about budget cuts or spending caps or inflation or any one of a massive list of ways that public spending is regulated and often reduced to bare bones. You donít know about how jealous people can be when they worry more about who gets the credit. At eight, thereís a lot you donít or even canít know yet--and itís almost a shame that you ever will. But for now--you are what we all wish we could still be--motivated by nothing other than to just try to help someone who is helping all of us.
What better example could we possibly need?