The summit is sweeter when no one is left behind. — Tori Murden McLure
“No one is left behind” sounds like a a political campaign, but Tori is talking about an expedition where success and failure are shared experiences. This is much like sports teams, where individual statistics may be important to some, but the most important statistic to a true teammate is whether the team wins or loses not which individual scored the most points.
We are so much the better as individuals, as a group, and as a society when no one is left behind.
A friend who works for the Red Cross told my breakfast group a heartbreaking story. A fire set by a disgruntled boyfriend had devastated an apartment building in Charlotte. When such an event happens the local Red Cross steps in to find temporary housing and to do a needs assessment for each family. Problem this time was there were over 150 people displaced, all had lost all of their belongings, and only a few spoke English. The rest only spoke or understood Spanish, and the Red Cross didn’t have enough interpreters.
I thought what a wonderful opportunity for the many school children who had been learning Spanish since the first grade to provide a community service, but unfortunately school is out and children are scattered. The other problem the Red Cross has to overcome is the reluctance of certain communities to welcome what Tori calls “those people” — the people who live on the other side of society’s imaginary line of acceptibility. People who don’t look, speak, and act like exactly as the speaker.
Wouldn’t it be nice to live in a world where the words “those people’ were never uttered ever again much less understood. Now that’s a summit that would be especially sweet for all of us to reach.