By Mallory Schlabach, Editor in Chief
Face the Facts
The biggest mystery of the year – and perhaps the decade – was solved earlier this week. After months of debate, a Bahamian court revealed that Danny Birkhead was indeed the father of Anna Nicole Smith’s 11-month baby Dannielynn. Adoring fans, gossip mongers and everyone else entranced by perhaps the final saga in Smith’s life can rest assured. We now know who the father is.
But the court’s announcement made more than one thing clear this week. Not only did I learn truth about the baby’s paternity, but also I realized the value of life. It’s not usually in good taste to speak ill of the dead, but if my life is remembered for my unusual marriage choice, distasteful profession, suspicious death and debate over the father of my child – then my life was a waste.
This year the U.S. expectancy rate reached an all-time high, despite the fact that it seems half our population is either obese or diagnosed with cancer at 78 years. Although the country isn’t even in the top 10 for expectancy rates, the rate has improved from age 74, 30 years ago.
If the majority of people in our country continue to live longer, then most of us have more than 50 years of life left in us, Lord willing.
Why not make something of your life – and not just as much money as you can.
Organizations around the world focus on making a difference in the world. The opportunities that one has today to make a difference of any size is incredible. They can range from using your education to find a cure for cancer, AIDS, leukemia to being a mentor in a child’s life through Big Brothers Big Sisters, local churches or after-school programs to making the personal decision to recycle.
Leo Buscaglia once said, "Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around."
If you want to make something of your life, and not necessarily through fame or riches, find your identity in service, giving, community and charity.
Makeadifference.org lists projects and gives ideas of how one person to 100 people can reach out in their own community. 43things.com is a Web site where "do-gooders" can make lists of what they want to accomplish in the world and whom they want to help. The lists become a form of blogging and allow the philanthropist to find encouragement and inspiration from the site’s other members who offer advice and suggestions on how to achieve those goals of service.
The ONE campaign was created with the idea of getting every American to help make poverty history and find a cure for global AIDS by donations. The organization derives its name from the belief that by allocating an additional 1 percent of the countries budget could change the future for the world’s poorest countries.
Bethecause.org lists service opportunities across the country people can participate in from helping an interior designer in Michigan makeover a bedroom 30 women share at a battered woman’s home to volunteering to give free hugs in Manhattan Beach, Calif.
Planet Earth is an organization that gives tips on conserving energy and water, slowing global warming and how to reduce, recycle and reuse every day objects.Making a difference can be as hard or as easy as you want it to be. The choice is up to you.
How will you make a difference?