Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Bucket List...Should I Make One?

Have you seen The Bucket List with Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman?  Its a pretty good flick.  I watched it a while ago and I thought about what I might put on my Bucket List, but I've never actually made one.  Today's Blog Dare 2012 prompt is to review your bucket list if you have one and check off things or add to it.  Since I don't have one, I feel a little lacking.  But, I also feel a little intimidated at making such a list.  What would I put on it?  What are the things that I absolutely want to do while on this earth?

It seems that I must not be the only one who struggles with the question.  In a search for Bucket List, I came across this resource with a list of different things one might consider for their bucket list. But, it seems a little forced.  There is a whole Bucket List community online where you can make your list and get help from others in achieving them, much like Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman did in the movie!  The reaperlist.com sounded a bit too morbid for me.  But the Food Bucket List for 2012 sounded kind of interesting.  In the end, I just don't know if I can actually come up with a Bucket List.  I am not so absolute in most of my wants, so making a "must do" list sounds like too much of a commitment for me.  But, in the interest of sticking with the Blog Dare challenge, I will start a list of items here:

  1. Drive across the U.S.
  2. Spend a few days in one of those all-inclusive resorts (I've never been to one).
  3. Take a vacation to Europe 
  4. Visit all professional baseball parks in the U.S.
That isn't very many and the last one really isn't a must-do, its more of a "it would be nice if..."  

I would like to talk about the fact that being able to make a bucket list is quite a privilege.  There are so many people out there who can't think in terms of things they would like to do because they barely get by in the day-to-day.  And many of those are Women and Children.  If you want to see some really moving and disturbing stories, check out Sasha Abramsky's Voices of Poverty website.  

I am one of the lucky ones.  My daughter's illness could have caused a severe slide into poverty for my family, but I had a job with excellent insurance and a job that allowed me the time off I needed to take care of her in the hospital when it was needed and a job, period.  Many are not so lucky.  There are so many families who are only one medical emergency or job loss away from losing their car, their home, their ability to feed their kids and themselves.  

Because we are so often insulated from the individuals who are impacted by poverty, we can put them out of our minds.  Because their voices are so often not heard, we can forget that they exist.  Because we live a life of comfort and security, we can often forget about those in need.  I would like to add something to my bucket list because I am secure enough to be able to make a bucket list.  I would like to consider Abramsky's plea:
That fifty million Americans live in dire poverty, their economic security shattered, their prospects dim, ought to trigger both outrage and creativity: outrage that such a situation has been allowed to fester, to grow, for so long; creativity in that solutions to these problems have to emerge at every level of society - amongst the political classes, but also at the grassroots; amongst regulators and policy innovators, but also in classrooms, in community credit unions, in union halls and amongst the poor themselves.
Fifty million Americans.  Let that sink in for a moment.  I would like to add the following to my Bucket List:

       5.  To create or participate in a creative solution to the problems of economic insecurity.

That is a rather vague one - but it leaves me open to really look for ideas and plans and educational things that can contribute to solving this problem.

Anyone else want to join me in adding this to their bucket list?!?  Check out what George and Billye McPherson did in their small community, on their own, to help their community deal with issues of poverty and hunger (click on picture to access the related audio file):

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