(photo by Gary)
Over the weekend we took Mister Tristan (the 2 1/2 year old human, not the blog) over to the excursion railroad at Strasburg, PA and took a ride on Thomas the Tank engine's train. Of course, we adults were also enthralled at the festivities, and I mean that seriously. The Thomas children's program and DVDs are actually quite good, I think, at teaching kids lessons in self-image, responsibility, cooperation, etc.
We had a wonderful day, and the kids were well-behaved and loved the day out. This was Mister Tristan's first experience up close with a real train--other than the ones we see from our front porch about 1/2 mile away across the fields--and his first actual ride.
Later, when we got home, I marveled at the good fortune that we have at being born in the US, and being in a stable and financially secure family. Our problems are largely logistical (how can we fit in the Thomas trip?) while the problems faced by most of the children of the world have to do with food clean water and shelter and health care...you name it.
Which also brings up the parallels with Ultrarunning. Face it, this is for most of us a leisure pursuit made possible by our comfortable standard of living here in the US. We don't have to scramble for food and water and medicine, we mostly worry about fitting in that trail run or buying a new Petzl headlamp.
I'm not going to give up Ultrarunning because there are needy children in the world, I'm just saying that we do have the moral obligation to help those in need. My volunteerism and charitable giving need to be a priority and not an afterthought.
For the children, you know.