The death of Betty S. makes me think about making a difference. Many people are satisfied with accomplishing the basics: being a good mate, a good parent, and good family and local community member. Then there are the people who did more than the basics; they made a difference for many. History is full of such examples: Gandhi, Mandela, Aung San Suu Kyi, and Malala Yousafzai.  Their accomplishments often met with opposition from authority.  They were/are the true Warriors.

I wonder how many people want to truly make a difference. Some (most?) only want to get as much as they can out of life. I want to be more than a consumer; I want to be a contributor. I am not content with just being a good spouse, someone loved by family and a small network of friends.  I want to make a difference – somehow.

Some would argue I do make a difference via my job. After all I’ve spent over twenty years as a physician trying to heal mental anguish and restore meaning and direction to people’s lives.  But I don’t know if this truly counts for I get paid for it. Imagine Mother Teresa if she was on salary for helping the poor.

Betty inspires me to do more than be a good man and a competent doctor. She got involved; she made differences. When did I last volunteer, or join a protest, or assist in a clinic? Not in a long time I’m afraid.  I just go to work.  In my time off I do harmless introvert things.

I think my memorial to Betty should be more than a comment on FB and a yesterday’s blog entry. Perhaps the AIDS clinic she attended needs some help. Perhaps this Red States’ democratic party needs a volunteer. Where does Arizona stand in the battle of human rights?

It’s time for action; it’s time to make a true difference.

At my funeral I want more than ‘he was a good man/doctor/family member”.

I want to be remembered as“A friend of Betty.”