He was just a little boy from a poor country far away. Most of us could not find it on a map if we tried.
It would have been so easy to dismiss him as just another poor kid in a poor part of the world, so easy to pass him up; so easy to chalk up his struggling existence to the cruel geopolitical world of haves and have-nots, of ancient places lost in time, of we fat Americans complaining that the pizza delivery was late and the remote didn’t work.
Or simply to over look him, this tiny, ravaged kid and say that there is not enough time or money to save him, when it is not just time and money that would have. To say that we have no time for such things, we, caught in the great self pity of the American 21st Century where only our discontent matters, only our distrust, only our hate.
But she made us care, did Maggie Doyne. Took young Ravi into the Nepalese school and community she had created when he was just three months old and suffering in a way that we rarely see in this country, in a way that is so common, she taught us, in the silent corners of the distant world.
Then last night the word comes that Ravi has died, the little boy we hardly knew, but all pulled for. The little boy whose face we had seen change from the skeletal to the fat and round under a mat of curls; the little boy in whose story we found hope.
The grief that has settled over the Blink Now community is made greater by the effort expended to give Ravi a chance, not just to survive, but to live.
It is not love lost.
It is love expanded.
This is how the world changes, one little child at a time; in the blink of an eye, Maggie Doyne would say.
Ravi was welcomed into a place that was carved from nothing but the dream and troubled heart of one young American woman, a place where now two hundred students and their families work to carve out knowledge and support in a place that has no systems for such growth, a place that in a decade has taken children who were breaking rocks along a river bank in order to eat to learning to write and read and use a computer.
Those children are the miracles of the world. How will those children change their world in another decade?
So pray for Ravi, and bless his spirit. Say kind words for those whose hearts are bruised by his death – and let your own heart be bruised, even if for a moment.
Because it is not the snarling politicians who will change the world – they are just fighting over the scraps of the dying regime – it is the children who are pulled from the edge.
The world is changed by those who offer hope to those who have none, by those who give love to those who have not felt love, by those who hold the sick and lame and whisper through tears that it will be all right.
Sometimes the guiding light burns brightly, but briefly.
It leaves a trail.