From a Ripple to a Raging Current
Based Upon Reciprocity

This is a sequel to my last article about my family in Myanmar entering our government’s Electronic Diversity Visa Program. It was a Happy Day for me to find out that my family applying for green cards to come to America.

I will be the world’s happiest person if my family gets green cards. They will live at my home with me in Crown Point. However, that is merely the first phase of my lake dream. I am driven to help my family adjust to living in America. Assisting my family financially will create an interesting dichotomy. On the one hand, it will be difficult, but, on the other hand, I’m not worried. If they get to America, everything will be resolved.

The second phase of my actualizing my dream is to contact those who have helped me over the years. All of us will live on a lake that will look like this photo.

This is the lake of my dreams.

I’ll start with Bud Oakford’s five children and their families. After I invite Bud’s family to my dream lake, I’ll send out invitations to the many others that have helped me over nearly seven decades as I journeyed down my yellow brick road.

Those people are from around the world. Some are from Europe, Asia, Africa, and the Middle East. Nevertheless, they will be coming to America.

Once they come to America, I will pay their expenses to my utopia on a lake. I will have a home built and furnished for each family unit. Some will need help with English along with other educational assistance. I will provide everything that they need to adjust to the new world in which they find themselves. All those costs that they incur are my responsibility. None of the recipients will owe me anything…except for these four items.

First, each of the new recipients will have to provide a personalized plan to help others. It could be in the form of teaching, financial help, guidance, or whatever.

Second, they must sit down with their recipients and talk about how Confucius responded to one of his disciple’s questions.

This is a painting of Confucius’ disciple asking his question.

“Is there any one word that could guide a person throughout life?” Confucius replied, “How about reciprocity!” Then Confucius added this additional comment, “Never impose on others what you would not choose for yourself.” The recipient doesn’t have to thank the giver, but the giver must make sure the receiver goes back into the world and replicate this reciprocal dance.

Third, the giver must also talk about what Bobby Kennedy said decades ago. “Each time a man stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope, and crossing each other from a million different centers of energy and daring, those ripples build a current that can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance.”

...sweeping down walls of oppression and resistance.

Finally, I created this one-liner, “It is in giving that we get.” It is interesting that whatever we give to others, we get it back. This is an example of that truth. Ti Ti is going to college on my dime. Hey, that’s my granddaughter, and I love her.

Nevertheless, I am the one that benefits as much or more than Ti Ti. I recall the pain of being dumb in Mt. Lebanon. While I am not dumb, that mistake is etched into my psyche. There is no way that I will let Ti Ti make the same mistake that I did.